CBI probe into Marad conspiracy: Ball now in Kerala’s court

With all political parties finally giving a green signal for a CBI probe into the larger conspiracy behind the Marad carnage in 2003, the ball is now in the court of the state government.

The CPM and the Congress, which have been vehemently opposing the Central Agency probe since the incidents, have flip-flopped and are now pressing for a CBI probe.

Both parties mainly point out the recent observation of Kerala High Court regarding the need for an intense probe to expose the larger conspiracy as the reason for this turnaround.

Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which has been put on the dock ever since the incident, has now specifically demanded for a CBI probe.

Sources said IUML top leaders met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and pressed for a CBI probe so as to prevent other political parties from exploiting the situation and targeting Muslim League.

Admitting that there were political interferences in avoiding CBI probe into the incident, CPI Kozhikode district secretary IV Sasankan said a comprehensive probe by any agency is required particularly in the wake of High Court’s observation.

Significantly, when the demand for CBI probe was raised from various quarters soon after the incident nine years ago, the state leaderships of CPM and the Congress had joined hands to fend off the enquiry. CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and then KPCC president K Muralidharan jointly organised a meeting at Kozhikode Town Hall back in 2003 openly opposing a CBI probe into the incident.

Pinarayi Vijayan, who was later testified as witness before the Justice Thomas P Joseph Commission which probed the Marad massacre, stated that there was no need for a CBI probe.

When contacted, Congress leader and MLA K Muralidharan said the party then opposed the CBI probe as BJP was in power at the Centre and denied reports that the KPCC’s decision was influenced by IUML. “We were afraid if the probe would be biased with the influence of NDA government. Now the UPA government is in power and we are confident that the probe would not be partisan. In the wake of the recent High Court observation, a probe by the Central Agency is required, he said.

CPM state secretariat member V V Dakshinamoorthy, who was then the district secretary of CPM, said the party has been pressing for a CBI probe ever since the report of the Justice Thomas P Joseph Commission was submitted.

“The party, however, opposed to CBI probe earlier as it had confidence in the state police. We had taken the same stand in the firing incident in Kasargod as well. But, after getting the findings and recommendations of the Marad Commission, the party never opposed probe by the central agency. And the previous LDF government raised this demand before the Centre thrice but were rejected,” he said.

However, veteran BJP leader advocate P S Sreedharan Pillai alleged that both fronts sabotaged the demand for CBI enquiry. 

“While the IUML put pressure on the UDF, the involvement of CPM activists in the murder forced the party to resist a high level enquiry. The state leaderships of CPM and the Congress should show sincerity to their present stand,” he said.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted in 2010 to probe into the larger conspiracy, it is yet to make a breakthrough in the case.

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