A Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday arrested two more persons in connection with the 1982 murder of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) worker Anchery Baby, based on claims in a political speech made some months ago by a district leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

CPI(M) local committee member O.G. Madanan and Panakkulam Kainikari Kuttan (Pampupara Kuttan) were arrested and produced before the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court here and remanded till December 11.

Mr. Madanan is the third accused. Mr. Kuttan is the first accused, and the former Idukki district secretary, M.M. Mani, arrested on November 21, is the second accused.

All the accused had been acquitted by the court for want of evidence, as the gun allegedly used to shoot Baby was not in working condition when it was produced before the court during the trial.

Mr. Kuttan was not on the list of the accused, and a statement made by a person before the SIT proved crucial.

Besides the sections under which the FIR was filed, various sections of the Indian Penal Code were cited against Mr. Kuttan.

Section 120 (b) (conspiracy to murder) and Section 118 (concealing the design to commit the crime) were slapped on Mr. Mani and Mr. Madanan.

Baby was shot dead on November 13, 1982. The government formed the SIT after Mr. Mani made a public speech at Manakkad, near Thodupuzha, in which he claimed that the party had a hit list of 13 persons, and three of them had been killed.

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