Kochi: The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court on Friday granted custody of the nine CPM activists arrested in connection with the Payyoli Manoj murder case to the CBI till January 10. The CBI, which arrested them on Thursday, presented the accused before the CJM Court in Ernakulam and sought their custody for further interrogation.
The CBI counsel submitted that out of the nine persons arrested in the case, seven took part in the attack against Manoj while two others did the planning. Terming the incident as a political murder, the counsel submitted that more persons were involved and would be arrested. Two of them are currently abroad.
The decision to eliminate Manoj was taken by the local committee of the party and was endorsed by the area committee, the CBI said. It added that the murder was committed to avenge the killing of Babu, an autorikshaw driver belonging to the CITU.
The nine persons however denied the CBI charges and said they were implicated because of political reasons. The court however observed that such matters have to be proved during the trial of the case.
The arrested included CPM Kozhikode district committee member T Chandu, CPM Payyoli local committee secretary PV Ramachandran, KSKTU area secretary C Suresh, municipal councilor KT Likhesh, CPM local committee member NC Mustafa, Moodai local committee member P Anup, a former branch committee secretary PK Kumaran and two DYFI activists Akhilnath Kodakkad and Ratheesh Niravath.
The CPM called a hartal in Payyoli municipality and three nearby panchayats on Friday terming the arrests as politically motivated.
Manoj was killed allegedly by CPM activists in May 12, 2012. Several persons arrested originally alleged that they were implicated in the case as part of the CPM strategy of supplying party workers as ‘dummy’ culprits in murder cases. The CBI took over the investigation from the Crime Branch in 2016 and made fresh arrests in the case.
CM and Kodiyeri should apologize: K. Surendran
After the CBI arrested CPM leaders in connection with the Payyoli Manoj murder case, BJP general secretary K. Surendran said that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan should apologize to the people.
“The killers entered the house and killed him in front of his family. In Kerala’s political murders, when investigated by outside agencies, the involvement of the CPM has come to light continuously and their top leaders are getting arrested,” said Mr Surendran here in a press meet....