Pressure mounts for CBI probe into Kerala Marxist rebels’ murder case

Pressure is mounting on the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the wider conspiracy behind the murder of Marxist rebel leader T P Chandrashekhran that rocked Kerala in 2012.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Sun 26 Jan 2014, 9:06 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:55 AM

The demand originally made by the slain leader’s widow K K Rema and her political outfit, Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), after the special investigation team of the state police filed the chargesheet confining their probe into the conspiracy only to the local leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) gained strength after the trial court acquitted even many of the local leaders themselves.

Rema’s decision to launch a fast unto death in front of the secretariat in Trivandrum to press the demand has gained support from several quarters, including CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan, who had earlier questioned the party’s stand that it had no role in the brutal murder at Onchiyam in Calicut district on May 4, 2012. Terming Rema’s demand justified, the octogenarian leader said none could overlook the sentiments of a bereaving widow. He had earlier described the slain leader as a true and brave communist.

Sharing the view, senior Congress leader V M Sudheeran has written a letter to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy seeking immediate measures to hand over the probe to the federal agency. He has urged the government not to push Rema into the indefinite fast. Rema is gearing up to begin the fast from February 3.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala is not against a higher level probe into the case. However, he said he can take a final decision only after examining the legal aspects.

He said he had already sought the opinion of legal experts in this regard.

Legal experts are divided over the option. While a section says the conviction of three local leaders of the CPM in Kannur and Calicut indicates the possibility of a high-level conspiracy, others say it will not be easy to prove it as the acquitted cannot be arrested again and those convicted cannot be questioned effectively.

Leading Criminal Lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party leader P S Sreedharan Pillai does not agree with the latter. He says that the CBI may be able to unearth the larger conspiracy since the prosecution has already proved a conspiracy at the level to eliminate Chandrashekharan.

The court has already convicted three leaders for conspiracy. Sreedharan Pillai said the other leaders implicated in the conspiracy were acquitted due to an arrangement entered between the CPM and the Congress during the investigation.

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