Kerala court sentences 11 to life for stabbing leader
A court here Tuesday sentenced 11 of the 12 accused to life for the murder of a political leader who was stabbed 51 times in May 2012.
The special additional sessions court pointed out that T.P. Chandrasekheran was murdered because of political rivalry and it was not a personal grudge.
The court had last week found 12, including three district leaders of CPI-M, guilty of the crime.
Chandrasekheran, 51, who launched the Revolutionary Marxist Party, was stabbed 51 times by assailants May 4, 2012 when he was returning home on his motorcycle.
There were 76 people named in the chargesheet filed by the special investigation team of police. Among them, two are still absconding, while the high court had stayed trial against 15 people.
A total of 46 people were discharged after the trial began, one died during the trial period while the remaining 12 were arraigned as accused.
A hugely popular leader in and around the Kozhikode district, Chandrasekheran took on his former party CPI-M from which he was ousted in 2008.
He often flayed his former party's ideological stand that forced CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan to publicly declare Chandrasekheran a "renegade".
"With the court today (Tuesday) pointing out that the cause of the murder was political, it has now become very clear that the CPI-M was behind this murder," said K.K. Rema, wife of the slain leader.
"We wished that the guilty was given the extreme punishment. We will now go in for appeal against the life term that was given. Overall, we are happy with the verdict as the cause has now come out," she said.
CPI-M politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party will now decide if any action needs to be taken against the three who have been sentenced.
"The three will go for appeal against the punishment that has been given to them," said Balakrishnan.
Forest Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who was the home minister when the incident took place, had come under flak from certain quarters on accusations that to please the CPI-M top brass, the investigation was diluted.
He said Tuesday the verdict proved the accusations were incorrect.
"Just look that even the conspirators in the case have been given the same sentence as those who actually did the crime... let this be the last politically motivated murder in our state," Radhakrishnan told reporters.
Rema has demanded a CBI probe to unravel the conspiracy angle in the case and the state government has sought legal opinion if they should seek a CBI probe.
"The demand of Rema for a CBI probe is politically motivated," added Balakrishnan.
(Posted on 28-01-2014)