Leaders of the State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have come down heavily on the manner in which the special investigation team had arrested former CPI(M) Idukki district secretary M.M. Mani, terming it ‘undemocratic’ and ‘unacceptable’.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan told a news conference here on Wednesday that the decency due to a political worker was not shown towards Mr. Mani, who was arrested during the wee hours of Wednesday.

He demanded to know why the government had not take the same stand in Congress leader K. Sudhakaran’s case. Although accused of having killed Nalpadi Vasu, he was roaming freely and even barging into police stations threatening police personnel. There was no effort to arrest him, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

The Leader of the Opposition said that though there could be differences of opinion about Mr. Mani’s speech, that was no justification for the manner in which he was arrested.

If a criminal case could be registered against Mr. Mani, the same charge could be raised against Mr. Sudhakaran.

Discrimination alleged

This was discrimination. “Why isn’t the government registering a case against Sudhakaran? Why is it not showing the courage to do so,” he asked and added that the arrest was only intended to divert public attention from the mounting protests against the United Democratic Front government’s policies.

No justification: Viswan

Replying to questions on the subject at his post-Left Democratic Front committee briefing, LDF convener Vaikom Viswan demanded to know the justification for Mr. Mani’s arrest when he was active in public life and was even present at a private function at the Home Minister’s residence.

The government had decided to arrest Mr. Mani to wriggle out of its political isolation, particularly after Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s outburst against it, Mr. Viswan said.

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