Rebel murder: Top Marxist arrested

published on June 30, 2012

The Kerala Police on Friday morning arrested top CPI(M) leader P Mohanan through a dramatic move for the May 4 murder of rebel leader TP Chandrasekharan. The arrest triggered violent CPI(M) protests leading to confrontations with the police who had to resort to lathi-charges and tear-gas and grenade lobbing.

The CPI(M) would observe a shutdown on Saturday in the district.

Mohanan, arrested for murder on the basis of statements of arrested conspirator and CPI(M) functionary PK Kunhananthan, is member of the party’s district secretariat in Kozhikode, the second senior-most leader of the organization in the district and a firm soldier of its neo-liberalist faction. He is husband of CPI(M) legislator KK Lathika.

A court in Vadakara, Kozhikode on Friday afternoon remanded Mohanan in judicial custody for 14 days but left him in police custody till June 6. The police had to carry out several rounds of lathi-charge as thousands of stone-pelting CPI(M) workers created a war-like situation in front of the court by blocking the vehicle taking Mohanan to police camp.

Protestors pelted stones at the police and the court. Several policemen, protestors and newsmen suffered injuries. Many vehicles were damaged in the incident. That the police would have a tough time was obvious even before Mohanan was brought to the court as hundreds of activists were waiting at the court premises for the arrival of the police vehicle carrying him.

Mohanan, 56th accused in the murder case as per the police’s remand report filed in the court, was charged with murder, suppression of information and other offences. The police have so far arrested nine senior CPI(M) leaders in connection with the murder of Chandrasekharan.

IT was through a dramatic move that the Kerala Police’s special investigation team probing the Chandrasekharan murder arrested Mohanan at Koilandy, 25 km north of Kozhikode city at 8.40 am Friday. The police followed his car in a vehicle, blocked it and took him into custody, stunning him and the CPI(M) leaders who were with him.

Mohanan was then taken to the police station in Koilandy where leaders like district CPI(M) secretary TP Ramakrishnan and Mohanan’s wife Lathika and several party workers raised protests at the way he was arrested. “The arrest is unjustifiable. We are certain that Mohanan is innocent. The manner of the arrest is even more unjustifiable,” said Ramakrishnan.

The arrested leader was then taken to the SIT’s camp in Vadakara where more CPI(M) workers assembled in protest. Attempt to manhandle the crew of a television channel led to some tension but leaders and the police were able to restore calm after some time. The SIT started quizzing Mohanan immediately after he was brought to the camp office.

According to sources, the police arrested Mohanan on the basis of the statements of Kunhananthan, the chief conspirator behind the murder who had surrendered on June 23. He had reportedly told the police that Mohanan had prior knowledge of the rebel’s murder. Sources justified the arrest drama saying this was necessary to avoid Mohanan’s going into hiding.

The CPI(M)’s State secretariat reacted strongly to the arrest saying the Congress-led ruling UDF was settling political scores using the police. The party would counter such moves with people’s power, it said. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan asked the CPI(M) to “put the word back in the sheath” referring to the violence in front of the Vadakara court.

Chandrasekharan’s widow KK Rema said she and the RMP (the outfit Chandrasekharan had floated with his associates in 2008 after leaving the Marxist party) had expected Mohanan’s arrest and the only concern was on why it had been delayed so far. “Mohanan has always been trying to destroy the RMP. We believe that the arrests won’t stop here,” she said.

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