The Special Additional Sessions Court (Marad cases) at Eranhipalam here on Wednesday convicted 12 accused, including three leaders of the Communist Party of India ( Marxist) [CPI(M)], in connection with the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam on May 4, 2012.
Pronouncing the verdict, Judge R. Narayana Pisharadi found M.C. Anoop (1st accused), Manoj Kumar aka Kirmani Manoj (2nd accused), N.K. Sunil Kumar aka Kodi Suni (3rd accused), T.K. Rajeesh (4th accused), K.K. Mohammed Shafi (5th accused), Annan Shijith (6th accused), K. Shinoj (7th accused), K.C. Ramachandran (8th accused), member of the Kunnummakkara local committee Manojan aka Trouser Manojan (11th accused), former branch secretary of Kadanganpoyil of the CPI(M) P.K. Kunhanandan (13th accused), member of the Panur area committee of the CPI(M) P.V. Rafeeque (18th accused), and M.K. Pradeepan aka Lambu (31st accused) guilty of the crime.
The arguments on the quantum of punishment will be held from Thursday.
However, the court acquitted 24 persons, including P. Mohanan (14th accused), district secretariat member of the CPI(M); K.K. Krishnan (10th accused), member of the Onchiyam area committee; Jyothi Babu (12th accused), member of the Kunnothuparamba local committee; M.K. Raveendran aka Padayamkandi Raveendran (30th accused), member of the local committee; C. Babu (42nd accused), office secretary of Koothuparamba area committee, and K. Dhananjayan (70th accused), secretary of Koothuparamba area committee. The court observed that no legally admissible evidence was found to support the allegation of the prosecution against the accused. It also ordered that Mohanan and C. Rajith (27th accused), who were in judicial custody, be released forthwith if their detention was not required in connection with any other case.
The prosecution case was that a section of CPI(M) leaders in Kozhikode and Kannur districts allegedly hatched a conspiracy and hired a seven-member gang to kill Chandrasekharan, who had walked out of the party and floated a dissident outfit at Onchiyam.
Court sources said the judgment, running into over 350 pages, indicated that it was a politically motivated murder. However, only five-page operative part of the judgment was sourced to the media and others.
The first seven accused, who actually took part in the killing, were found guilty under Section 302, 143, 147 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The accused from second to seventh were found guilty under Section 148. However the second accused and third accused were also convicted under Sections of the Explosive Substances Act.
Ramachandan, Manojan, and Kunhanandan were found guilty under Section 120 (criminal conspiracy) of 302 (murder) of IPC. Rafeeque was found guilty under Section 109 (abetment), while Pradeepan under Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the IPC.
Reacting to the verdict, special prosecutors C.K. Sreedharan and P. Kumarankutty said they would appeal against the acquittal of the accused.
Rema not satisfied
K.K. Rema, wife of the slain RMP leader, said she was not fully satisfied with the verdict. But the verdict had exposed the role of the CPI(M) in Kozhikode and Kannur districts hatching a plot to kill Chandrasekharan. She also demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the case.
‘CPI(M) role clear’
The role of CPI(M) in the murder of RMP leader T.P. Chandrasekharan has been proved beyond doubt by the verdict given by the Special Additional Sessions Court (Marad cases) on Wednesday, which found three party leaders guilty of criminal conspiracy to murder Chandrasekharan, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has said.