KOCHI: In a surprise development, 15 CPM workers, who are accused in the Kathiroor Manoj murder case, have been shifted from the Ernakulam Sub Jail to the Kannur Central Jail. The move comes in the wake of an order from the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services to shift them back to the Kannur jail.
Earlier, the accused had approached the CBI Court in Kochi requesting to shift them to Kannur. However, the accused were shifted even before the court issued any directive in this regard.According to Ernakulam Sub Jail authorities, the decision to shift 15 accused back to Kannur was taken considering the overcrowding in the Ernakulam Sub Jail. They were shifted to Kannur on Saturday.
“The Ernakulam Sub Jail has the capacity to accommodate 25 persons. However, more than 70 persons are currently lodged in the jail. Overcrowding is posing a security threat to the prisoners and hence, the 15 accused were shifted back to the Kannur Central Jail. A report in this regard has been filed at the Ernakulam CBI Court,” said an officer in the Ernakulam Sub Jail.
CBI officers in Kochi told Express they were aware of the development and were checking the legal angle behind the order of the Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services. The Supreme Court had in March this year ordered the Kerala Government the trial in the case must be shifted from the Thalassery Sessions Court to the CBI Court in Ernakulam. Later, the accused were shifted from Kannur to Ernakulam. The CBI has chargesheeted 19 accused in the case. CPM leader P Jayarajan is also an accused. The CBI will soon file the supplementary chargesheet in the case.Manoj, an RSS activist and a resident of Kathiroor, was hacked to death allegedly by CPM activists on September 1, 2014.