Communist Party of India-Marxist former district secretary M.M. Mani failed to appear before police here for questioning, and the police team probing him made it clear that the law would take its course.
Mani, who was summoned to appear before the probe team, failed to turn up Monday at 10 a.m.
The former Idukki district secretary of the CPI-M was booked last month for a speech he made May 25 at a public meeting here, in which he said his party liquidated its political rivals and cited four instances of party opponents killed in the '80s.
"The rules are clear in the law what has to be done next if a person asked to turn up before a police probe team does not appear. We will exercise the powers that the police has," Inspector General of Police K. Padmakumar told media persons.
To a similar notice served by the probe team last month, Mani requested that he be given more time since he had approached the Kerala High Court, and police had agreed to his request.
The court last week, however, failed to quash the police complaint against Mani.
More than 500 policemen were standing guard in front of the Thodupuzha police station, where Mani was to appear.
His counsel told the probe team that Mani is approaching the apex court on the issue and hence should be given leave of absence, which was not accepted by the police.
"We expected he would be given a few more days' leave to appear because he is going to approach the apex court in this case. Now we will decide what needs to be done and we are not going for a confrontation with the police in this issue and will do the needful," said K.K.Jayachandran, CPI-M legislator and the newly-appointed Idukki district secretary.
Sources told IANS that Mani left his home near here early Monday morning for an undisclosed location.
The police are keeping tight vigil at Kochi airport as news came that Mani could leave for Delhi to petition the apex court.
"The law of the land should be respected, none is above the law, hence people should go by the rule book and not indulge in confrontation," said P.C. George, government chief whip in the Kerala assembly.