Shop was owned by accused in Onchiyam murder case

A special team of the police on Thursday arrested four workers of the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) allegedly involved in setting on fire a flower shop at Orkkatteri, near Vadakara, that was owned by M.K. Ravindran, alias Padayankandi Ravindran, who is an accused in the murder of RMP leader T.P. Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam.

The team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Jossy Cherian arrested them in the case registered at the Edacherry police station. The shop was set ablaze at night on October 21.

Those arrested were O. Manoj, 36; T. Jinith, 21; N. Sabeesh; and O. Jijil, 23. All of them were charged with Sections 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substances with intent to destroy house) 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot – if rioting be committed) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

They would be produced before the Vadakara Judicial First Class Magistrate Court on Friday, the police said. 

Investigators had previously suspected the role of the accused in the incident.

Subsequently they had been summoned to the police station for interrogation. Their contradictory statements finally led to their arrest.

They confessed that they had set the shop on fire after dousing petrol through the ventilator of the building at around 10.30 p.m.

Zealous followers

All of them were zealous followers of Chandrasekharan, who had floated the RMP after he walked out of the CPI (M). Initially the RMP leaders alleged that the CPI (M) could have had set the shop on fire so as to destroy evidence in the Chandrasekharan murder case.

Ravindran, a member of the Orkkatteri local committee of the CPI(M), has been named 30th accused in the case. The conspiracy to kill Chandrasekharan was hatched at the flower shop between 3.15 p.m. and 3.45 p.m. on April 2, 2012, according to the charge sheet.

P. Mohanan, a district secretariat member of the CPI (M), and C.H. Ashokan, secretary, Onchiyam area committee of the party, and K.K. Krishnan, member of the same committee, met K.C. Ramachandran, member, Kunnummakkara local committee, at the shop, it said.