Former Communist Party of India (Marxist) Idukki district secretary M.M. Mani is likely to appear at the office of the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) here on Wednesday for answering questions in connection with his controversial speech at Manakkad near here on May 25 that the party had a hit list in the 1980s and that three of them on the list had been eliminated.
CPI(M) Idukki district secretary K.K. Jayachandran, MLA, told The Hindu on Tuesday that Mr. Mani would appear before the investigation officer ‘soon.’ He, however, did not specify the time, but said the media would be informed of it.
It is understood that Mr. Mani’s counsel had on Monday night informed the police that he would appear at the Dy.SP’s office for questioning within two days after a special investigation team (SIT) inquiring into the murders rejected his application seeking ten days’ time to move the Supreme Court against the case filed against him for non-bailable offences.
When the first notice was served on Mr. Mani on June 6, his counsel contested it in the Kerala High Court on the ground that the case was sub judice. Mr. Mani was issued a second notice on Saturday after the High Court on Thursday rejected his plea for quashing the First Information Report filed by the Thodupuzha police before the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court, Thodupuzha. The High Court ordered that further investigation was needed in the cases.
Mr. Mani is reported to have disappeared after leaving his house at Kunjithanni at 8.30 a.m. on Monday. As on Tuesday evening, his whereabouts are not known and his mobile phone remains switched off.
The murders referred to by Mr. Mani in his controversial speech included that of Ancheri Baby (shot dead on November 13,1982), Muttukad Nanappan (June 6, 1983), and Mullanchira Maithai (January 16, 1983). The accused in these cases had been acquitted by the court for want of evidence.
The SIT (headed by Inspector General of Police, Ernakulam range, K. Padmakumar) has been formed to inquire into all political murders in the district in the 1980s. It has taken statements from more than 200 persons including the accused, relatives of the victims, and witnesses.
A top police officer said that enough forces would be deployed at Thodupuzha and other sensitive areas in the district to deal with any situation in the event of Mr. Mani’s arrest.