KANNUR: CPM Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan was slapped with murder and conspiracy as the CBI submitted the chargesheet in connection with Ariyil Abdul Shukoor’s killing, at the Principal Sessions Court in Thalassery on Monday. T V Rajesh MLA was also charged with conspiracy. Jayarajan is the 32nd accused in the list in which Shyamjith, son of CPM central committee member M V Govindan, and Bijumon, son of CPM Taliparamba area committee member Vaadi Ravi, are co-accused.Muslim league worker and MSF leader Shukoor was killed at Keezhara near Cherukunnu, a strong CPM bastion, on February 20, 2012.
It was alleged the murder was planned and executed by the CPM’s local leaders at the behest of district leadership as Shukoor was killed hours after youth league workers led by him had stopped the car in which Jayarajan and Rajesh were travelling and allegedly attacked them. Following the attack, both Jayarajan and Rajesh were admitted to the Taliparamba Cooperative Hospital.
CPM will find it hard to defend P Jayarajan
It was an unexpected shock for the CPM leadership as their strongman from Kannur was implicated in the charge sheet filed by the CBI in connection with Ariyil Shukoor murder case, just a few weeks before the Lok Sabha elections. Though CPM district secretariat has come out with a statement denying the involvement of CPM leaders in the murder case and rubbished the central agency’s move to put CPM on the backfoot dubbing it as politically motivated, it looks the party is desperately trying to mask the frustration within the ranks by adopting a posture of brazenness.
As of now, CPM finds itself in an unenviable position as P Jayarajan, the district secretary, has become a burden during an election time where he should have been campaigning actively for the victory of their candidates. Moreover, some had even speculated Jayarajan would be contesting either from Kannur or Vadakara constituencies. Jayarajan is the 32nd accused in Ariyil Shukoor murder case, and the 25th accused in Kathirur Manoj murder case.
“This is a real set back for the CPM, and it has come at a wrong time too,” said K C Umesh Babu, who was ousted from the party a few years ago. “It’s rubbish to say that the CBI has acted at the behest of the BJP. The present situation is the result of a Supreme court order to CBI to hasten the investigation. Now, the chances of Jayarajan becoming a candidate has disappeared and CPM will have to hide him from campaigning too,” he said.
Though the candidate selection of both fronts has not yet begun, the state has already entered into the election mood, speculating about the chances of the fronts, parties and candidates. Now, instead of focusing its entire concentration to electioneering, the party has to spend money, time and energy to protect one of their tall leaders from Kannur, to convince the public about the innocence of their leader and the vendetta politics of the central agency.
“P Jayarajan has not been enjoying the trust of the state leadership for some time now. The self-promotion controversy had dented his image considerably. Even though he is still revered and followed by many workers, his position in the party is very precarious,” said a party worker on condition of anonymity.
For some time now, the former strongman of the official faction in the party has not been enjoying the place he once held in the eyes of the state leadership. His style of functioning, the unchallenged position in the district and the massive support he received from the party workers, all were being seen and interpreted as signs of promoting individual worship. No more the favourite of the state leadership, he will have a tough time dealing with courts and cases in the coming days.
Already on the back foot defending the steps taken during the Sabarimala crisis, the party would find it difficult to defend one of their top leaders during election time. They know that the opposition wouldn’t spare an opportunity to attack them by painting them as votaries of violence. Though the party couldn’t abandon one of their trusted lieutenants, the brickbats they received while protecting Kunhananthan, who was convicted in T P Chandrasekharan murder case, from the public, media and the opposition would be fresh in their minds. For CPM, things wouldn’t be comfortable in the coming days as they have to fight it out in courts, newsrooms and before the public.
CBI being used as a tool to implicate us: CPM state sec
T’Puram: The CPM state committee on Monday alleged the chargesheet filed by the CBI against Kannur District Secretary P Jayarajan and party’s MLA T V Rajesh in connection with the murder of Ariyil Shukoor was a joint political move by the BJP and Congress.
Shukoor’s family wants trial outside Thalassery
Kannur: Expressing fear the witnesses in the case could be influenced by the CPM using pressure tactics, Ariyil Shukoor’s family demanded the trial should be held at place other than Thalassery.
Conspiracy hatched at the hospital: CBI
Kannur: The CBI charged a conspiracy was hatched at the hospital by the CPM’s regional leaders to hit back at Shukoor and other youth league workers. The agency also included Jayarajan and Rajesh in the case as accused for not trying to stop them from the murder even after they came to know about the hideous design. When the news about the ‘execution by the party court’ came out, it created a furore in the political circles. There were incidents of violence in the district as Jayarajan was arrested by the CBI in connection with this case.