Kerala CPI-M facing tough times (Letter from Kerala)
Thiruvananthapuram, June 30 (IANS) With the Kerala Police closing in on over a dozen top leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in different murder cases, the party in the state appears to be going through a highly testing period.
A CPI-M legislator's husband is already behind bars and all eyes are on the fate of two other sitting legislators and an ex-legislator.
P. Mohanan, husband of CPI-M legislator K.K. Lathika was arrested Friday in the T. P. Chandrasekharan murder case. Party activists took on the police in the court premises itself in Kozhikode when Mohanan was brought to the court.
The Kozhikode CPI-M unit called a district shutdown Saturday, which has left the entire district crippled with even private vehicles keeping off the roads.
Chandrasekharan, 51, a popular leader in Onchiyam, was brutally killed on May 4 while returning home on his motorcycle. He was hacked 51 times by a group of assailants.
12 prominent district level leaders in Kannur and Kozhikode have been arrested in the case and police sources here hinted at forthcoming arrests.
CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan at a public meeting here Friday warned state Home Minister T.Radhakrishnan that the party would not be intimidated by the police
"Radhakrishnan, please beware that even if your entire police force is used against us, it is not going to be enough. We are a party that has passed numerous litmus tests in the past and that's because of the sacrifices of our party workers," said Vijayan.
Another case to hit the headlines was the murder of ruling front ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) activist Abdul Shukoor, who was killed allegedly by CPI-M activists in full public glare in February after the killers sent MMS pictures of the victim to party leaders.
CPI-M legislator T. V. Rajesh has been served a notice by the probe team in the case to appear before them for interrogation.
"We are not against the CPI-M as they have been saying. The police have been given a free hand, and till date people in general are happy with the way the police have been working. I request the party not to hinder the probe," said Radhakrishnan.
CPI-M former district secretary M. M. Mani has been served a notice to appear before the police following a speech he made saying his party had eliminated four political opponents in the eighties.
On Thursaday the Kerala high court refused to quash the FIR registered against Mani.
K.K.Jayachandran, a sitting CPI-M legislator from Idukki district is also likely to be summoned in the case.
"The CPI-M has to first convince its own most senior leader V.S. Achuthanandan, who has taken a divergent stand in these murder cases. Once they do that, then they can go ahead in convincing the people," said Sunny Joseph, Congress party legislator from Kannur.
Achuthanandan has steadfastly refused to acknowledge any CPI-M party involvement in the Chandrasekharan murder.
Read More: V. S. Achuthanandan | Mani Shankar Aiyar | Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan | Kozhikode | Kannur | Kerala | Kerala-j | Mani | Kannur Ho | Kannur Railway Station | Civil Station Kannur | Kannur City | Kannur Thana | Kannur District Hospital | Kannur University Campus | Onchiyam | Iim Kozhikode Campus | Mundur -- Kozhikode | Kerala Estate | Mani Bhakurahar
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