KOCHI: Lashing out at the probe conducted by state police's Crime Branch into the murder of two Youth Congress workers in Kasaragod, the Kerala High Court on Monday ordered a CBI probe into the case, after quashing the police charge sheet.
The court, while handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), came down heavily on the police for the manner in which it did its "callous probe", always taking the word of the prime accused as arraigned by the Crime Branch as the basis of going ahead with its probe and making arrests.
The court slammed the police probe team of not going ahead with conducting a forensic examination of the weapon used by the killers, soon after it was recovered.
The family members of the victims and the Congress have been demanding a CBI probe right from the time the police had failed to arrest the real accused, who, according to them, are senior CPI-M district leaders who conspired to eliminate the two young Congress workers on February 17 this year.
Youth Congress workers Krupesh, 19, and Sharath Lal alian Joshy, 24 were attacked by three motorcycle-borne men while returning from an event. While Krupesh died at the Kasargode district hospital, Joshy succumbed to his injuries on his way to a medical facility in Karnataka's Mangaluru.
Even though the police had arrested a few suspects, including A. Peethambaran, a local CPI-M leader, who was later arraigned as the prime accused, they relied on his statement to arrest the others allegedly involved.
The case had attracted huge media attention forcing then Governor, Justice P. Sathasivam (retd) seeking an urgent status report from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the police investigation.
Reacting to the developments, Sathyan, father of Joshy, said that right from day one, the police was playing a cover-up game and was meant to save prominent CPI-M leaders who have had a key role in the murder.
"We are very happy that the case has been given to the CBI and we now expect that justice will now come, when the real culprits are arrested," he said.
Krishnan, father of Krupesh, said they are very happy that the High Court has intervened to give them justice.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said Vijayan should quit as Chief Minister as he is also the Home Minister and his police had cleanly done a cover-up job to save their party leaders.