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Sentencing in T.P. Chandrasekheran murder case Jan 28

Posted on Jan 23 2014 | IANS

Kozhikode (Kerala), Jan 23 : A special additional sessions court here Thursday heard both the prosecution and defence over the quantum of punishment to be handed out to the 12 adjudged guilty in the T.P. Chandrasekheran murder case and posted the sentencing for Jan 28.

The court Wednesday let off 24 people and found the 12, including three leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), guilty of the crime.

After the court announcement, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government has decided to seek legal advice on whether the case can be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for a fresh probe.

"We will only go by the advice we get in this matter," said Chandy.

Chandrasekheran, 51, who launched the Revolutionary Marxist Party, was hacked 51 times by assailants May 4, 2012, when he was returning home on his motorcycle. A total of 76 people were named in the charge sheet filed by the special investigation team of police.

On Thursday, the prosecution argued that this was a brutal murder and no leniency should be shown to the guilty as the victim's face was slashed using swords. The defence, however, wanted some consideration when the punishment is announced.

Stating that such a heinous crime would not have happened without the knowledge of the CPI-M top leadership, K.K. Rema, wife of the slain leader, demanded a CBI probe and said she will go on an indefinite hunger strike in front of the state secretariat starting Feb 3.

The guilty include three district-level CPI-M leaders, including 64-year-old P.K. Kunjuanandan.

Kunjuanandan requested leniency, saying he was old and suffering from various ailments and that his wife will be alone.

The prosecution Thursday asked the court for death penalty to those who conspired, similar to the sentences handed out to the conspirators in the Indira Gandhi assassination.

Among those named in the charge sheet, two are still untraced and on the run while the high court has suspended the trial against 15 people.

A total of 22 people have been discharged after the trial began, one died during the trial while the remaining 36 were arraigned as accused. Of the 36, the court Wednesday let off 24 people and found the 12 guilty.

A popular leader in and around Kozhikode, Chandrasekheran took on his former party CPI-M from which he was ousted in 2008 and flayed its ideological stand.

Rema, wife of the slain leader, is also planning to approach the court seeking a CBI probe, saying the real conspirators - the top leadership of the CPI-M - have been left out.

The CPI-M expressed happiness that P. Mohanan, husband of CPI-M legislator K.K. Lathika, and three other prominent district-level leaders were let off.

It said the party's stand has become clear that it had no role in the murder.

However, party leaders had no answer when asked about members like Kunjuanandan and two others figuring among the guilty.

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