The investigation into the murder of young Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) activist Abdul Shukkoor at Keezhara in the Kannapuram police station limits here on February 20 is set to become a politically sensitive issue in the wake of the disclosure that the killing involved an impromptu trial by a ‘party court' of local leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The murder followed a bout of violence at Ariyil, near Taliparamba, in the aftermath of an attack on CPI(M) district secretary P. Jayarajan and T.V. Rajesh, MLA, earlier that day.

The details being unearthed by the police team investigating into the murder of Shukkoor have already triggered a war of words between the CPI(M) and IUML/United Democratic Front (UDF) leaders here.

The probe, supported by disclosures of key witnesses to the incident, pointed to the involvement of a ‘mock trial' by CPI(M) workers after they captured Shukkoor and his party colleague Zakkaria from a house at Keezhara.

District Superintendent of Police Rahul R. Nair told The Hindu that the special team investigating the murder case found that it was different from the modus operandi of political murders in the district.

“It was a pre-meditated killing,” he said. The investigation also brought out that people who had captured the five young men, including Shukkoor, had taken their photos on mobile phones and got them verified through multi-media message service. Investigation was on to identify those who had verified the photos, he said.

The captors had released three of the captured after the ‘verification' and held Shukkoor and Zakkaria. The latter had fled after he was stabbed, the SP said.

The fact that Shukkoor had received a single stab injury on his chest showed that it was an attack with an intention to kill, the SP said. The special investigation team had identified 48 people who had been involved in the crime.

While the IUML and UDF leadership here demanded an independent investigation to nab all those involved in the murder, the CPI(M) alleged that the Chief Minister's office was behind the propaganda that Shukkoor had been ‘executed by a party court.'

A delegation of UDF district leaders led by district chairman Sunny Joseph, MLA, visited Shukkoor's house at Ariyil on Saturday and met party workers injured in the attack. The MLA alleged said that Shukkoor's brother, Dawood, a journalist working for Chandrika daily, told the delegation that he had been contacted several times by Shukkoor asking him to do something to save his life.

All the five IUML workers had taken refuge in the house of one Muhammad Kunhi that day when they realised that they were being chased, Mr. Joseph said. The house owner had been forced to ask the five to leave the house when a mob of CPI(M) workers surrounded the house and threatened him.

Terming the murder barbaric, Mr. Joseph said that the CPI(M) was now trying to present the murder as something that happened during clashes between rival parties. The facts would be unravelled by examining the calls from Shukkoor's phone and the house of Muhammad Kunhi where the IUML workers had taken refuge.

Both garner support

As the IUML and the UDF have been trying to mobilise public outrage against the killing of the youngster, the CPI(M) has also initiated steps to bring the issue into the public.

The CPI(M) on Saturday organised a dharna by victims of what it called IUML-sponsored violence in and around Taliparamba. The dharna was inaugurated by writer P. Valsala. Mr. Jayarajan said that the violence at Ariyil had not escalated thanks to the restraint shown by CPI(M) leaders.

  • Probe hints at a ‘mock trial' before murder

  • Photos verified before the activist was killed