3 CPI (M) men among 11 sentenced to life for RMP leader’s murder

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on January 28, 2014 Published on January 28, 2014

Verdict may become a hot issue during the Lok Sabha election campaign in Kerala

The verdict political Kerala has been anxiously waiting for has been pronounced.

Three local leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the main Opposition party, seven members of a gang of professional killers, and another accused, were on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment for the May 2012 murder of T. P. Chandrasekharan, who had founded the Revolutionary Marxist Party after breaking off from the CPI (M).

From the initial reactions by the Congress leaders, the verdict seems to have the potential to be used as a major weapon by the Congress-led United Democratic Front against the CPI (M) in the upcoming Lok Sabha electoral campaign in Kerala.

The special additional sessions judge at Kozhikode, who last week found 12 accused in the high-profile ‘T.P. murder case’ guilty, handed a three-year prison term to one, while awarding life terms to the rest. The verdict noted that the murder had shocked the conscience of society. It was a planned and brutal murder provoked by ‘political animosity’ against an ‘emerging political party.’

Political animosity

The court pointed out that the first seven accused had no personal animosity towards the murdered political leader and that they had acted as tools in the hands of the conspirators. The three CPI (M) local leaders were sentenced to life terms for criminal conspiracy to murder T.P.

Ever since the murder of T.P., the most sensational political murder in Kerala’s recent history, the CPI (M) has been in the dock, though the party’s State and central leaderships have consistently denied the party had anything to do with it. CPI (M)’s rivals had accused it of hacking to death the RMP leader (TP had received 51 stabs) out of political vendetta and that senior leaders had been aware of the conspiracy.

‘No conspiracy’

However, when the judge last week acquitted P. Mohanan, the highest-ranked CPI (M) cadre among the accused (he is the member of the Kozhikode district committee), State General Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had said it showed the party had not conspired to kill T.P.

On Tuesday, CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party would go in appeal against the sentencing of party activists. K.K. Rama, widow of the slain leader, said the RMP would go in appeal to seek more severe punishments for all the accused.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala commented that with the sentencing of the three CPI (M) leaders for criminal conspiracy, the role of the party was now crystal clear.

Transport Minster Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who was the Home Minster till last month, said it was perhaps for the first time in Kerala that both conspirators and killers are being punished for a political murder.

The verdict is likely to be a sharp tool in the hands of the Congress and the United Democratic Front in the parliamentary election against the CPI (M) and the Left Democratic Front, as the murder has evoked huge repulsion among the masses.

Published on January 28, 2014
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