The acquittal of 20 persons in the T.P Chandrasekharan murder case has come as a setback to the Congress, which at one point of time seemed to extract some political mileage out of the case in the impregnable strongholds of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Malabar on the strength of the evidence gathered against several district-level leaders of the Left party. The worst part is that the verdict of the trial court is now getting linked to the factional fights within the Congress, with one faction accusing the Home Department of failing to process the case properly.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala appeared more guarded in his reaction than some of his colleagues. He said the acquittal should be viewed seriously and that the State government should appeal against the trial court verdict. However, N. Subramanian, KPCC general secretary, who is known close to him, put the blame on the Home Department. After a certain stage, the police investigation went off the track and appeared to be very casual. He wanted the State government to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Union Minister for State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran’s observation about a possible understanding between the Congress and the CPI(M) to scuttle the investigation had caused much heartburning. Some of the United Democratic Front partners are also not happy with the acquittal, as it gives a psychological advantage to the CPI(M).
‘A’ faction leaders, however, rebutted the charge that the case was not handled properly. One of the two special public prosecutors, C.K. Sreedharan, who is Kasaragod District Congress Committee president, is known to be close to the KPCC president. Kumaran Kutty was appointed special prosecutor as per the suggestion of Rema, widow of the slain Revolutionary Marxist Party leader, they claimed.
“Should the KPCC president be answerable to this? Besides, it is the responsibility of the public prosecutors to process cases in the courts,” they said and maintained that the acquittal will not affect the main case, which has been built up on the basis of strong evidence. The State government should, however, appeal against the trial court verdict, the leaders pointed out.