Pinarayi seeks probe into role of Home Minister

Communist Party of India (Marxist) State unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday alleged a high-level conspiracy behind the recent shifting of nine convicts in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case from the Kannur Central Prison to Viyyur Jail in Thrissur citing security concerns. He was referring to the alleged manhandling of the convicts by jail officials on their arrival at Viyyur.

Interacting with reporters at Ambalapuzha, near here, on the second day of his Kerala Raksha Yatra, Mr. Vijayan also sought to know whether Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala was part of the conspiracy to rough up the convicts. He said a probe should be conducted into the alleged role of Mr. Chennithala.

Coming down heavily on Jail DGP T.P. Senkumar, Mr. Vijayan said the “brutal torture” of the convicts was carried out on the directions of Mr. Senkumar. Mr. Vijayan accused Mr. Senkumar of attempting to link CPI(M) leader P. Mohanan, exonerated by the trial court in the Chandrasekharan murder case, with Fayaz, the key accused in the Nedumbassery gold smuggling case. “Mr Senkumar had attempted to concoct a story to show Mr. Mohanan in poor light. The officer has vested interests,” alleged Mr. Vijayan. Asked whether the party took responsibility for the murder of Chandrasekharan by sending a Polit Bureau member and key MLAs to meet the convicts and raise their cause, Mr. Vijayan retorted that the party had always voiced its opposition against custodial torture. “The party reacted strongly when Naxal leader Varghese was assaulted in police custody and killed in an encounter. Varghese was a bitter critic of the CPI(M) then. We will continue to oppose custodial torture,” he said. The party had taken strong stand on custodial deaths of Sambath and Udayakumar, Mr. Vijayan added. Describing the attack by SDPI activists on CPI(M) cadres at Tirur in Malappuram district as a symbol of growing Talibanism in the State, Mr. Vijayan said it was high time for the IUML to make its stand clear on extremist forces. Asked about entry of K R. Gouri into the party, Mr. Vijayan said the party would decide on it after receiving requests in this regard from Ms. Gouri.

Security of convicts

According to jail officials, nine out of the 11 life-term convicts in the Chandrasekharan murder case, who were housed in Kannur Central Prison, were shifted to Viyyur Jail as per an order of the Jail DGP.

The nine convicts were transported to Viyyur at 5 p.m. on Thursday by a special bus under heavy security. CPI(M) leaders P.K. Kunhananthan and K.C. Ramachandran, two convicts in the case, will remain in Kannur.

All 12 convicts in the case, except Lambu Pradeepan, had been posted in Kannur Central jail since Tuesday after the trial court slapped life-term imprisonment on them in the murder case.

The Kannur Central Prison authorities had reported to their higher-ups the security risk of housing the convicts of the politically sensitive case here. The central prison runs on meagre staff strength. More than half of the 105 warders in the jail are temporary hands working on daily wages, jail officials said.

Earlier, Kodi Suni and Mohammed Shafi, two convicts in the murder case, had served jail term at the Central prison here. Responding to the security concerns raised by the officials, Jail DGP T P Senkumar sent the order to shift the prisoners to Viyyur on Thursday.

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