Rebel’s murder: Kerala cops start netting top CPM bosses

published on May 24, 2012

After arresting several “small fishes” for the May 4 murder of Marxist rebel TP Chandrasekharan of Onchiyam in Kozhikode district, the police on Thursday arrested a secretary and a member of an area committee of the CPI(M) in what is seen as the start of netting of senior Marxist party leaders involved in the case.

The special investigation team probing the Chandrasekharan murder on Thursday recorded the arrest of CH Asokan, secretary of the CPI(M) area committee in Onchiyam to where the murdered rebel also belonged, and KK Krishnan, a member of the committee, who were taken into custody on Wednesday night. Asokan’s arrest has pushed the CPI(M) into a crisis.

Asokan and Krishnan were arrested on the basis of the statements given to the police by KC Ramachandran, a local CPI(M) leader who was arrested last week, and Sijith, a gangster who took part in the murder. They were accused of giving incitement for the crime and concealing information despite prior knowledge of the plan for murdering the rebel leader.

Sources in the police said more senior leaders of the CPI(M) were likely to be arrested in connection with the conspiracy behind the Chandrasekharan murder in the coming days. The police have so far arrested 17 persons in the case including six local-level CPI(M) leaders.

Observers say that the arrest of Asokan, a Marxist heavyweight and former State general secretary of the pro-CPI(M) NGO Union, should be seen as an indication of the determination of the Kerala Police to bring to book leaders belonging to higher committees who, according to them, had taken part in the conspiracy behind the murder.

Hundreds of slogan-shouting CPI(M) workers gathered in front of the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court in Vadakara, Kozhikode protesting against the arrests when Asokan and Krishnan were brought there on Thursday morning. The protestors tried to block the police bus carrying them causing tension in the area for some time.

The Magistrate permitted the police to keep Asokan and Krishnan in their custody for 14 days for further questioning. Asokan, a prominent leader of the official neo-liberalist leadership of the CPI(M), is a staunch loyalist of State party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. As Onchiyam area secretary, he had strongly opposed the moves of rebels under Chandrasekharan there.

Protesting against the new arrests, CPI(M)’s State secretariat member and former Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem MLA said in Kozhikode that the police were carrying out the arrests as per a schedule handed over to them by the Congress-led ruling UDF. He alleged the police had not even allowed him and three other Marxist MLAs to meet the arrested leaders.

“The UDF wanted these arrests to be made today in the face of the State-wide protests against the petrol price hike. They had no other way to escape the people’s ire,” he said in Kozhikode. Kareem also alleged that the police were acting as per instructions given by Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran.

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