The brutal murder of a bus passenger, allegedly by Congress MP K. Sudhakaran’s security guard and two others at the Perumbavoor bus stand early Monday evening, triggered an Opposition walkout in the Assembly on Wednesday.

Raghu (40), of Peruvembu in Palakkad and working in a plastic moulding company at Perumbavoor, was beaten up by the Congress MP’s security guard and two others inside the bus, in which they were travelling and later at the Perumbavoor bus stand accusing him of having snatched Rs. 10,000 from one of them. By the time the police took him to the Perumbavoor taluk hospital, he had died.

Describing the incident ‘barbaric’, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the Raghu was totally innocent of the charge and that the money he had with him was that, which he had received by pawning his gold ornament. The police had taken two of the three persons, who had allegedly beaten up Raghu into custody and search was on for the third. The MP’s security guard, a constable in the Kerala Police, had been suspended from service. The police had charged them under Sections 302 and 304 of IPC. The saddest part was that none of those who witnessed the beating up at the bus stand intervened. This should raise some serious questions. The government would give all protection to Raghu’s family, Mr. Chandy said.

Leader of the Opposition V. S. Achuthanandan said the situation in the State was such that if a policeman committed a crime, he would get all protection. The police could have caught the third person if they had interrogated the arrested persons closely. This went to show the government’s attitude towards all such issues. It had not cared to take action against Assistant Commissioner of Police K. Radhakrishna Pillai, who had opened fire at student agitators using his service revolver, he pointed out.

Earlier, seeking leave for an adjournment motion on the issue, Saju Paul (CPI-M), said it was nothing but brutal murder of an innocent person by the Congress MP’s body guard and certain others and wondered how the MP could claim that his body guard was innocent. He and K. Achuthan (Congress), from whose constituency Raghu hailed, urged the government to provide financial assistance and all possible protection to the victim’s family.