Anniversary of a murder that rocked Kerala CPI-M (Kerala Newsletter)

Thiruvananthapuram, May 3 (IANS) Come Saturday and it will be the first anniversary of a murder that marked a crisis the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has never before faced in Kerala.

After the brutal murder of T.P. Chandrasekheran May 4, 2012, several CPI-M leaders find themselves in the dock.

Chandrasekheran, who was ousted in 2008 after he became the proverbial thorn in the side of the party in Kozhikode district, had then founded the Revolutionary Marxist Party. As the 51-year-old was returning home near Onchiyam in Kozhikode district, he was hacked 51 times by a group of armed gangsters.

The Oommen Chandy government gave the police a free hand and in a few weeks, both the killers and the instigators of the crime were booked.

What came as a shocker was that among those arrested were state, district and local level leaders of the CPI-M, including the husband of a party legislator.

In all, 76 people were arrested.

The trial is underway at a lower court near Kozhikode.

The CPI-M, in a bid to defend itself, said the police was on a victimisation drive.

Senior party leader and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan invited the ire of other party leaders when he publicly reacted with shock at the murder, and paid homage to Chandrasekheran.

On the day of the crucial assembly by-election at Neyattinkara constituency, June 2, 2012, Achuthanandan visited Chandrasekheran’s widow K.K. Rema at her home and TV channels covered the meeting live. Rema, touched by the gesture, broke down and cried.

CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat said recently that the party had investigated the murder but the results of the probe were being withdeld as the matter was sub judice.

But. state Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala said Friday: “Tomorrow, it’s going to be a year since the murder. The CPI-M has been saying that its top brass has no role in it, then why cannot they release their report?”

Meanwhile, Chandrasekheran’s widow Rema, herself a former firebrand party worker who is busy organising the commemorative meeting to be held at Onchiyam Saturday, said she felt proud to be the wife of a real communist.

“We will go ahead, spreading the flames of revolution that my husband carried with him, an alternative to the CPI-M,” Rema said.

(Sanu George can be contacted at [email protected])

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