KOCHI: Senior CPM leaders were indeed involved in the Periya murder case, it has come to light. The report filed in the High Court on Friday by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the brutal murder of two Youth Congress workers at Periya in Kasargod reveals CPM’s Udma area secretary K Manikandan, a rising leader in Kasargod, helped the accused and coordinated their escape after committing the crime.
It’s dubious why the SIT submitted there was no involvement of top-level CPM leaders in the murder and the crime was owing to personal enmity even when the role of a CPM leader of the stature of Manikandan has been clearly described in the report.
The eighth page of the report filed by Crime Branch Malappuram DSP PM Pradeep, the investigating officer, states it was as per the directive of Manikandan the first accused and CPM local leader Peethambaran, fifth accused Gijin, sixth accused Sreerag and seventh accused Aswin were taken by a person named Mani to the CPM office at Udma after the incident. As per the report, “Manikandan called somebody and after getting advice from him, he directed the accused to change their dress and conceal their weapons, if any.
‘It’s baffling to see my name in the report’
“Mani and eighth accused Subeesh bought some clothes and handed them over to the other accused. All the accused, except Gijin, changed their clothes. Gijin and Subeesh burnt the changed clothes near the bushes at Keekanam. Later, as directed by Manikandan, the accused were taken to the CPM office at Udma.’’
T Asaf Ali, who represented the parents of slain Kripesh and Sarathlal in the High Court, told ‘Express’ the report itself reveals the involvement of CPM leaders and the larger conspiracy. “At the instance of the top brass of CPM, the accused were guided to the party office. There is evidence to show the party higher-ups had direct complicity with the actual culprits prior to and after the commission of the crime,” said Asaf Ali.
“It is baffling to see my name in the report,” said Manikandan, who was the district secretary of CPM’s youth wing, DYFI. “I was not questioned either by the local police or the Crime Branch before levelling such a serious charge against me,” he said. “To begin with, neither do I know any of the nine accused in the case nor have I met them before or after the crime,” said Manikandan.
If the police were coming to such a conclusion, they should have at least conducted a preliminary inquiry by questioning me, or they should have corroborated evidence such as call record details. They can check my call records. None of the accused has contacted me. I find the statement to be a hastily-prepared document,” he said. To be sure, Kalliyot comes under Kanhangad area committee and not Udma area committee. “I came to know about the crime when the Bekal Circle Inspector informed me over the phone,” he said. DSP Pradeep told Express that there was nothing more to say other than the report filed in the High Court. He also refused to divulge more details about Manikandan.