Says he saw some of the assailants 9 days ahead of incident

A prosecution witness in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case told the trial court in Kozhikode on Wednesday that he saw M.P. Sanoop (accused number 22), along with T.K. Rajeesh (fourth accused), one of the alleged killers, on the Vadakara-Nadapuram road nine days before the incident.

Deposing before Special Judge R. Narayana Pisharadi, Special Additional District and Sessions Court (Marad cases), the witness, P.M. Pramod, said he had seen Sanoop arrive in the Toyota Innova multi-utility vehicle allegedly used by the assailants.

The case related to a seven-member hired gang hacking to death Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam on May 4, 2012.

According to the prosecution, Sanoop, an activist of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), had gone with some of the alleged killers to identify the regular routes used by Chandrasekaharan between April 25 and May 4, 2012.

The accused had facilitated the murder of Chandrasekharan and voluntarily concealed the existence of the design to commit the murder, as per the charge sheet.

The witness said he had seen Sanoop arrive in the Toyota vehicle at the eastern side of the bus station near the AKG Centre on the Vadakara-Nadapuram road at 4 p.m. on April 26. At that time he was waiting at the bus station after some work at a furniture shop owned by one Ashokan, he said.

Pramod said he had particularly noticed Sanoop, who was his neighbour and friend, as he had arrived in a luxury car.

Afterwards, he went to a shop. A fat bald man was sitting in the front seat apart from the driver in the vehicle. Some others were also inside.

He came to know that through newspaper reports that the Toyota vehicle was used by the assailants.

He had identified Rajeesh through news reports.

During cross-examination, Pramod admitted that he was an activist of the RMP and he was named second accused in a case relating to the attack on P. Mohanan (fourteenth accused in the murder case), member of the Kozhikode district secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

He said he had been involved in two cases including an attack on Sanoop. One case had been settled. A case was also registered against Sanoop for attacking him, he said.

Special public prosecutor C.K. Sreedharan examined the witness while defence counsel B. Raman Pillai cross-examined him.

The prosecution also decided to give up examination of two other witnesses, P.P. Preejith and U. Rajan, after suspecting that they could turn hostile during trial.

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