In a swift operation on Friday morning, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the May 4 murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan arrested P. Mohanan, a member of the Kozhikode district secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), for his alleged involvement in hatching the murder plot.
Mr. Mohanan was produced before the Vadakara Judicial First Class Magistrate Court and remanded in police custody for seven days. The court rejected his bail application.
Hartal in Kozhikode
Meanwhile, the CPI (M) has called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the district on Saturday in protest against the arrest. CPI (M) State secretariat member V.V. Dakshinamoorthy and former Minister Elamaram Karim accused the police of stage-managing the arrest after informing a section of the media.
A five-member squad led by Deputy Superintendent of Police A.P. Shoukath Ali, in a police jeep, intercepted the car in which Mr. Mohanan and his party colleagues were travelling in front of the Pandalayani upper primary school, around 100 metres from the Koyilandy police station, around 8.30 a.m.
Mr. Mohanan, who was proceeding to Kozhikode city after taking part in a programme organised in memory of the former MLA K. Dasan at Choorode refused to go with the police team. However, CPI (M) district secretary T.P. Ramakrishnan, one of the accompanies, requested the police that Mr. Mohanan be allowed to travel in the party-owned car to the SIT camp office. Subsequently, the police vehicle escorted the car from the Koyilandy police station to Vadakara.
Mr. Mohanan, a former president of the Kozhikode district panchayat and husband of Kuttiyadi MLA K.K. Lathika, was questioned in the presence of the alleged mastermind P.K. Kunhanandan, member of the Panur area committee of the CPI(M).
His arrest was recorded on the basis of the confessional statements given by Kunhanandan and other accused including K.C. Ramachandran, member of the Kunnummakkara local committee of the CPI(M).
The police said Mr. Mohanan was charged with Sections 302 (murder); 120 B (criminal conspiracy); 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life), and 212 (harbouring offender) of the Indian penal Code.
Right from the morning, the police had a difficult time controlling CPI (M) workers agitating over the arrest of Mr. Mohanan. In the beginning, a few workers demonstrated against the police at Koyilandy. But as the news flashed, a large number of people gathered in front of the Vadakara police station and they moved to the Vadakara court premises in the afternoon.
The police had to resort to a lathicharge and fire teargas shells from riot guns to chase away the unruly protesters from trying to prevent the police from taking Mr. Mohanan to the court. Dozens of people including onlookers were injured in the ensuing fracas between the police and the party activists. A few agitators also tried to manhandle mediapersons in front of the court.