Serious breach of prison rules by some of the accused in a sensational political murder case in the district jail in Kozhikode on Tuesday triggered a wordy duel in the Congress with some of prominent leaders of the party targeting Home Minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan over the issue.
Mounting a scathing attack on Mr. Radhakrishnan, Congress MP from Kannur K Sudhakaran said right from the start, there had been serious lapses in handling of T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case in which several CPI(M) local leaders figure as accused.
In a severe indictment of Mr. Radhakrishnan, interpreted by political circles as a virtual call for his resignation, Mr. Sudhakaran said as Home Minister he had been functioning without taking the sentiments of the party or its workers in almost all political murder cases involving CPI (M) workers.
Hitting back at Mr. Sudhakaran, the minister said it was for those who made him the minister to demand for his resignation and he was not going to be cowed down by unfounded criticism.
“I do not want to reply to my critics in the same language they spoke. But I want to make it clear that I am not going to be cowed down by fulminations against me, my culture does not permit that” he said in Kozhikode.
Making a mockery of prison rules, some of the accused in Chandrsekharan murder case lodged in the Kozhikode district prison were found to have made Facebook postings, using sophisticated mobile phones in their possession.
The matter was exposed through a sting operation by a Malayalam TV channel, which also beamed photographs purportedly posted on Facebook by some of the key accused in the case after they were lodged in the prison as undertrials.
Chandrasekharan, who floated his own outfit RMP after quitting CPI(M), was hacked to death in May 2012 near his native village Onchiyam. Many of the accused in the case are local CPI(M) workers, apart from goons hired to execute the murder.
Joining the issue, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said the prison story had created deep anxieties in the minds of people in general and the Congress workers in particular and this would be conveyed to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Earlier in the day, the minister, who visited the prison and held a high level meeting on the issue, said the government would seek permission of the court to shift the accused alleged to have used mobile phones to another prison.
“Only with the permission of the court which remanded the accused can they be shifted to some other place. Since they are remand prisoners, permission of the Special Additional Sessions Court, the trial court in the case, has to be sought,” he said.