The State president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), V. Muraleedharan, has asked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to clarify on the statement made by the former Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department Superintendent of Police C.M. Pradeepkumar about the involvement of terrorists in the Marad killings.

Addressing a news conference here on Saturday he said that the Chief Minister had asked Mr. Pradeepkumar to soft-pedal the probe on issues such as the telephone calls between Mohammed Fahad, a suspected member of the Pakistan-based Al-Badr terror group, and a youth leader of the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front.

Mr. Pradeepkumar had for some time led the investigation into the involvement of external agencies and Muslim fundamentalists in the killing of nine persons at the seaside village on May 2, 2003. The probe was ordered by the State government after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) refused to investigate the case based on the recommendations of the Thomas P. Joseph Commission. The Commission had recommended probing the larger conspiracy in the planning and execution of the Marad killings.

Mr. Muraleedharan said that the Chief Minister should clarify on these allegations made by Mr. Pradeepkumar at a function organised by the Hindu Aikya Vedi in the city on the anniversary of the killings. He said that the BJP had earlier raised the same allegation.

Now the investigation into the larger conspiracy had been stalled. The Congress party which was ruling the State with the support of the Indian Union Muslim League had shielded the terrorists. A CBI inquiry into the killings had been sabotaged on this account, Mr. Muraleedharan alleged.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V.M. Sudheeran should also explain whether his party encouraged terror activities, he said.

Mr. Muraleedharan said that people of the State had the right to know what happened to the investigation by a special police team into the larger conspiracy behind the incident, financial sources, and national and international connections and their ramifications. 

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