Kerala government suspends Kannur prison staff over early remission scandal

Opposition UDF accuses the state government of providing preferential treatment to T P Chandrasekharan murder convicts, sparking protests in the assembly.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Photo | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has ordered the suspension of prison officials in Kannur Central Jail who had sought police reports on CPM workers undergoing life sentences in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case to grant them early remission.

The suspension orders for K S Sreejith, Joint Superintendent of Kannur Central Prison; Assistant Superintendent Grade-1 B G Arun and Assistant Prison Officer O V Raghunath were issued by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who holds the Home Department portfolio.

The prison officials had sought the police report on the murderers of T P Chandrasekharan, who are serving life imprisonment. Despite a court directive stating that they are not entitled to any leniency before completing a 20-year prison term, the officials included them in the list of inmates eligible for premature release. As per rules, seeking a police report is mandatory.

The incident has embarrassed the state government, as the opposition took up the matter in the assembly. The UDF moved a notice on Tuesday seeking leave for an adjournment motion on the issue, which was turned down by Speaker A N Shamseer. Denying permission for the notice moved by T P Chandrasekharan's wife and RMP legislator KK Rema, the Speaker stated that no such move had taken place.

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan attempted to point out the impropriety of the Speaker responding to an issue on behalf of the government. However, the Speaker remained firm that no discussion on the matter would be permitted in the House and switched off Satheesan's mic. Following this, UDF members protested in the assembly by reading slogans and showing placards, prompting the Speaker to hurriedly run through the proceedings and call for an early adjournment.

Satheesan blamed the state government, alleging preferential treatment for the convicts in jail. "These convicts are getting undue preference and five-star facilities even in the prison. It's they who decide their menu. Rema had sought clarification on the parole details of these prisoners five months ago but to no avail. We understand that they have been blackmailing the CPM," Satheesan told the media.

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