The police on Tuesday arrested two persons in connection with the murder of Communist Party of India (Marxist) Marutharoad local committee member Shajahan. Shajahan was hacked to death by a gang of men at Malampuzha on Sunday night.
The police arrested Naveen and Sidharth in connection with the murder. While Naveen was picked up from Pattambi, Sidharth was arrested from Pollachi. Both were being questioned by a special investigation team at the Palakkad South police station.
The police said one of them had direct involvement in the murder and the other provided logistical support. According to police sources, it was Naveen who procured weapons to kill Shajahan.
Naveen had reportedly harboured animosity towards Shajahan. The police said they were investigating the political background of the accused.
The police on Tuesday continued to question dozens of people in connection with the murder. Sources said the main accused had been identified as Sabareesh, Aneesh, Sivarajan, Sajeesh, Sujeesh, and Vishnu.
The 19-member special investigation team formed under the leadership of the Palakkad DySP was on their trail, collecting details about them.
Police sources said it was Sabareesh who hacked Shajahan first. He aimed at Shajahan’s legs not to let him escape. Aneesh too joined Sabareesh in the murder when others stood around him with weapons.
Shajahan’s family said he had faced life threat from a group of people. Sabareesh, Aneesh, and Naveen had reportedly threatened to finish off Shajahan.
The family alleged that the murder was pre-planned and that the Bharatiya Janata Party was behind it. According to the family, the murder could not have been executed without the support of the BJP.
An FIR prepared on the basis of statements by several people, including Shajahan’s friend and colleague Sukumaran, said the murder was a result of political rivalry.
The police said the accused hacked Shajahan with long blades knowing well that he was a local leader of the CPI(M).
Meanwhile, BJP State secretary C. Krishnakumar and district president K.M. Haridas alleged here on Tuesday that the murder was the result of an internecine strife within the CPI(M). They said Kunnamkad, near Malampuzha, was being treated by the CPI(M) as a party village without giving any freedom to any other political entities. They said all the accused were active workers of the CPI(M).
The BJP leaders condemned the statements by the CPI(M) leadership and described it as irresponsible and aimed at creating communal and political tensions. The CPI(M) had blamed the BJP for the murder.
They challenged the CPI(M) leadership to prove that the accused have BJP and RSS connection. “It is the finest example of CPI(M)’s degradation,” said Mr. Krishnakumar.