Kozhikode: Twelve accused, including the seven-member killer gang and CPM Panur area committee member P.K. Kunhananthan and a local committee member, K.C. Ramachandran, have been convicted of the brutal of murder of CPM dissident T.P. Chandrasekharan.
Chandrasekharan died on the spot with 51 cuts on his body at Onchiyam in Kozhikode around 10.30 pm on May 4, 2012.
Judge R. Narayana Pisharody will pronounce the sentence on Thursday. Delivering the verdict in 15 minutes on Wednesday, the judge let off CPM Kozhikode district secretariat member P. Mohanan, the alleged mastermind, giving him the benefit of the doubt.
In all, the judge acquitted 24 of the 36 accused. Convicted are the killer gangsters from the first to seventh on the accused list respectively- M.C. Anoop, Kirmani Manoj, Kodi Suni, T.K. Rajeesh, K.K. Muhammed Shafi, Annan Shijith, and K. Shinoj. They were found guilty under Indian Penal Code Sections 302 (murder) read with 149 (assembling unlawfully for a common object), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting).
Section 3 of the Explosives Substance Act was slapped on Kirmani Manoj and Kodi Suni, who hurled country bombs to scare away the mob that gathered at the murder spot on the night of May 4.
Eighth accused K.C. Ramachandran, 11th accused and branch secretary Trouser Manojan and 13th accused P.K. Kunhananthan were found guilty under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), abetting murder.
18th accused P.V. Rafeeq was found guilty under section 302 read with 109 (abetting murder) whereas 31st accused M.K. Pradeepan alias Lambu Pradeepan was found guilty under Section 201of IPC (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence).
Next: State may seek CBI probe into plot to kill TPC in 2009
State may seek CBI probe into plot to kill TPC in 2009
Thiruvananthapuram: The state government is likely to seek a CBI probe into the case registered at the Chombala police station in Kozhikode regarding a conspiracy to kill T.P. Chandrasekharan in 2009.
The Special Investigation Team led by ADGP (Crimes) Vinson M. Paul had initiated the case on the basis of information gathered during the probe into the murder case.
Onchiyam area committee secretary C.H. Ashokan, who died last year, Onchiyam area committee member K.K. Krishnan, Kunnummakkara local committee member K.C. Ramachandran and Thalassery area committee member P.P. Ramakrishnan were the key CPM leaders in the case.
Though the SIT had filed a chargesheet in the case in September 2012, the trial has not yet commenced.
“The government is seriously considering the option of handing over Chombala case to the CBI,” top government sources told DC.
“Handing over the TPC murder case to the CBI won’t be practical any more as a court has already pronounced its judgment. It may even lead to a legal tangle. Hence the best option before the government is to hand over the conspiracy case to the CBI as the trial in the case has not yet begun,” said the source.
Out of the 15 charged in the conspiracy case, eight were arraigned in the murder case also.
Police sources are doubtful whether the CBI could unearth the conspiracy of the party at higher levels. “Conspiracy itself is a highly secret affair and when it comes to high-level conspiracy, the conspirators will ensure that no evidence is left behind. Unless some of the conspirators spill the beans, it would be difficult to get any evidence,” a senior IPS officer said.
SIT plea to split case ignored
The SIT was of the opinion that the murder case should have been split into two, one with the executors and key conspirators and the other with those who harboured the crime. However, even the prosecutors had strongly objected to this.
Police sources said that the SIT members were more or less happy with the verdict, except for the acquittal of P. Mohanan. “It might be for the first time that all those who took part in the execution of a political murder and some key conspirators were found guilty. Had the case been split, even the case against Mohanan could have become stronger,” said a senior police officer.
Next: Party in dock over conviction of cadre
Party in dock over conviction of cadre
Kozhikode: The conviction of Panoor area committee member P.K. Kunhananthan and Kunnummakkara local committee member K.C. Ramachandran in connection with the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder would put the CPM in a fix which has been struggling hard to prove its innocence in the case.
It may be recalled that CPM general secretary Prakash Karat had said at a meeting in Kannur post-TP murder that no party members were linked to the murder at any point. Stressing the state party line, he had also announced an intra-party inquiry which is still a non-starter. He also said the party would take action if any party members were found guilty.
With the verdict being pronounced on Wednesday, it has become clear that the prosecution has succeeded in convincing the court about the role of Kunhananthan exposing the CPM façade of innocence. The court found him guilty under sections 302 (murder) to be read with 120 B (criminal conspiracy).
A truly committed member, Kunhananthan has a stature larger than his party positions in the CPM hierarchy. The Kannur party that rules the roost in the state CPM can never deny the contributions of Kunhananthan. This was evident when state party chief Pinarayi Vijayan termed his conviction as ‘unfortunate’ when queried by reporters at Delhi.
It is yet to be seen whether the party will be ready to take action against Kunhananthan and K.C. Ramachandran as they had promised earlier. The party leadership in Kannur also keeps mum when asked about his conviction.
Moreover, the conviction of Kunhananthan also exposes the role of the Kannur party in the murder executed in Kozhikode district. Mr Pinarayi Vijayan himself had earlier said at a meeting that the murder took place at a time when the party was trying to bring T.P. Chandrasekharan back to its fold, which was true....