CBI to probe ex-CPM leader's murder in Kerala

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 20, 2014 13:10 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 20 (IANS) The Kerala government Thursday gave its nod for a CBI probe in former CPI-M leader T.P. Chandrasekheran's murder, in which three of his party colleagues were recently sentenced to life by a special court.

State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said the decision was based on recommendations of the team that followed up on the petition of the slain leader's widow K.K. Rema, who sought a CBI probe into the case.

"...it was found (during investigation) that after the murder the accused fled to places like Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra and the CPI-M (Communist Party of India- Marxist) provided them help," Chennithala said.

"The accused have been alleged to have maintained close links with CPI-M leaders," he said.

"(Kerala) Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan had also written a letter to the chief minister (Oommen Chandy), demanding a CBI probe. All these factors made us to decide for a CBI probe," Chennithala added.

Chandrasekheran, 51, a former Communist Party of India-Marxist leader who launched the Revolutionary Marxist Party, was hacked 51 times by assailants May 4, 2012, when he was returning home on his motorcycle.

A hugely popular leader in and around the Kozhikode district, Chandrasekheran took on his former party CPI-M from which he was ousted in 2008.

He flayed the party's ideological stand, that forced CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan to publicly declare Chandrasekheran a "renegade".

Reacting to the government's decision on a CBI probe Thursday, Vijayan told reporters in Malappuram that the decision was "scripted".

"We will deal with this issue politically and legally and this decision is going to boomerang. We are the least worried...," he said.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Feb 7 gave an assurance for a CBI probe to Chandrasekheran's widow, who went on an indefinite fast to press her demand. After Chandy's assurance, she ended her fast on the fifth day.

The special additional sessions court at Kozhikode convicted 11 people, including three senior district leaders of the CPI-M, and sentenced them to life imprisonment in the case. It also observed that the crime took place because of political rivalry.

More from Sify: