M.M. Mani, former Idukki district secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), was released from the sub-jail here on Friday after the High Court granted him conditional bail on Thursday.

Mr. Mani was arrested in a case related to the murder of Anchery Baby, an Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) activist, on November 13, 1982. The case is being reinvestigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Kerala Police.

Mr. Mani, the second accused in the case, spent 44 days in the sub-jail along with CPI(M) activist O.G. Madanan (third accused) and Kainikary Kuttan (first accused), who were arrested five days after Mr. Mani’s arrest.

The official papers for the bail were produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court at Nedumkandam, which had remanded him on November 21, and the release order reached the sub-jail by 3.15 p.m.

Mr. Mani, who created a political storm by his statement that his party had prepared a hit list in the 1980s to eliminate its opponents including Baby, was received by CPI(M) district secretary K.K. Jayachandran, MLA, and other district-level leaders. Soon they led him to the venue of a reception in Peerumade town.

Presiding over the function, Mr. Jayachandran alleged that the Congress-led United Democratic Front government was framing false cases against CPI(M) leaders. The party will fight the case, legally and politically, Mr. Jayachandran said.

A party leader said Mr. Mani would stay in his ancestral house at Kidangoor in Kottayam district till the charge sheet was submitted before the court. (The High Court granted him bail on the condition that he shall not enter Idukki district except for appearing before the investigation officer. He shall neither try to tamper with evidences nor influence the victims.)

Mr. Mani’s daughters and close relatives reached the jail premises to see him. The case against the others (Mr. Madanan and Mr. Kuttan) will also be fought legally, a party leader said.

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