Varghese was criminal, killed in encounter: LDF government

As per the available details, Varghese was shot dead in encounter with the police in Thirunelli forest area.

Kochi: The state government has landed in a soup by submitting before the Kerala High Court that Naxalite leader A. Varghese was killed in an encounter and that he was a notorious criminal. The affidavit is contrary to the High Court verdict, delivered after the CBI investigated the case, that Varghese was killed in cold blood after being taken into custody. The state submitted that Varghese who tried to attack the police had killed himself. R. Santhosh Kumar, under-secretary in the home department, had filed the affidavit on July 22, 2016 after the LDF government came to power. "Only the murder of Varghese was tried by the trial court and not the character and behaviour of Varghese," the affidavit said. "Neither the CBI nor the special court could find any reason to deny the fact that Varghese was a notorious criminal involved in murder and dacoity cases in Wayanad area," the affidavit added.

The state made the submission on a plea filed by the relatives of Varghese who sought compensation after the CBI court convicted the accused in the case. The state, however, argued that the petitioner was unfounded and the petition seeking compensation was liable to be unfounded. The state submitted that Varghese was the leader of a Naxalite gang and was involved in several murder and dacoity cases in Wayanad area during 1970s. He was a wanted accused in a case registered for murder and dacoity in Thirunelli in February 1970 at Mananthavadi police station. A number of combing operations were carried out in search of Varghese in Thirunelli area in Wayanad.

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) also took part in the operation. As per the available details, Varghese was shot dead in encounter with the police in Thirunelli forest area. Interestingly, the state also referred to the revelation of constable Ramachandran Nair. Ramachandran Nair, who was part of the combing operations, after retiring from service had revealed that he shot Varghese in police custody on the command of K. Lakshmana, the then DySP, Thalassery, and P. Vijayan DIG. Following this, a CBI investigation was ordered. The CBI special court, Ernakulam, had on October 28, 2010 sentenced Lakshamana to life imprisonment and asked him to pay a fine of Rs 10,000. The High Court and Supreme Court upheld the CBI court's order.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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