The verdict in the T.P. Chandrasekharan murder case has brought somewhat of a relief for the CPI(M), though the party may be far from done defending the alleged role of its leaders in the brutal murder of the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader.
The CPI(M) leadership has been under relentless attack from its detractors, particularly after the special investigation team took some prominent local level leaders from Kannur and Kozhikode holding them party to the conspiracy leading up to Chandrasekharan’s murder. The most high profile of them, CPI(M) Kozhikode district secretariat member P. Mohanan, has been acquitted along with functionaries at the local level in Kannur, and that is specifically from where the CPI(M) really draws greatest relief.
The party had all along maintained that it had nothing to do with the murder. Now that the only district level leader to be listed as an accused in the case has been let off, the party has been quick to claim that its stand had been vindicated. The CPI(M) leadership’s sense of relief was quite in evidence from the moment the verdict became known and was best reflected in CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan’s reaction to the verdict from Delhi, where he is attending the party Polit Bureau meeting.
“The extremely heinous attempt to prove that CPI(M) was involved in a conspiracy (to murder Chandrasekharan) has come apart. Nobody can accuse the CPI(M) of involvement in the murder merely by looking at those who have now been found guilty,” Mr. Vijayan told reporters.
According to him, the police had listed so many CPI(M) leaders and workers at the local level only because the Chief Minister, the then Home Minister and the government as a whole wanted it to be so. “With the acquittals, the party has been fully exonerated in the case. This is a matter of great relief,” he said even as he termed ‘unfortunate’ the court’s finding P.K. Kunhanandan, member of the party’s Panur area committee, guilty of the charges levelled against him by the prosecution.
Apart from 13 accused Kunhanandan, eighth accused party’s Kunnummakkara local committee member K.C. Ramachandran, and 13 accused and former Kadanganpoyil branch committee secretary ‘Trouser’ Manojan are among those who have been found guilty by the court, all of them being found guilty of conspiracy leading to murder.
That would continue to put the CPI(M) on the defensive in the days to come, especially given the rising clamour from Congress and UDF leaders for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the conspiracy angle of the case.