Thiruvananthapuram : In a major indictment of Communist Party of India (Marxist), three of its Kerala leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday for plotting the murder of party rebel leader T P Chandrashekharan.
A special court also awarded life term to eight others, including seven members of a gang that hacked him to death, and sentenced one person to three years imprisonment for concealing the weapons used for the murder. Two members of the gang, Kirmani Manoj and Sunil Kumar alias Kodi Suni, were given five and ten years of rigorous punishment respectively for using explosives. All the convicts have also been imposed fine ranging from Rs.20, 000 to Rs 1,00,000.
The CPI (M) leaders sentenced to life imprisonment are P K Kunhanandan, an area committee member from Panur in Kannur district, K C Ramachandran, secretary of a local committee and Manoj alias Trouser Manoj, a branch secretary.
Besides Kirmani Manoj and Kodi Suni, other members of the killer gang who got life term are M C Anoop, T K Rajeesh, K K Mohammed Shafi, Annan Shijith, and K. Shinoj.
Another person to get life term is P V Rafeeque, who was convicted on the charge of abetting the murder. M K Pradeepan aka Lambu, who was convicted of concealing the weapons, has been awarded three years in prison and fine of Rs.20, 000.
The accused would have to remain in jail for one year to two years if the convicts fail to pay the fine. If the penalty amount is realized, a sum of Rs. 300, 000 will go to the slain leader’s widow K K Rema, and Rs 200, 000 to Abhinand, her son.
Chandrashekharan, who floated a parallel outfit called Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) after he was thrown out of the party following ideological differences was hacked to death by inflicting 51 cuts on his body at Onchiyam near Kozhikode on May 4, 2012
The verdict came as an indictment for the CPI (M) as special court judge R Narayana Pisharadi observed that the motive of the crime was political and not personal enmity.
The judge said the killer gang, comprising accused 1 to 7, had no reason to nurse any enmity against Chandrashekharan.
“They were tools in the hands of the persons who entertained political enmity towards the deceased. The enmity increased after the defeat of the CPI (M) at Onchiyam in the local body elections and at Vatakara in the Lok Sabha election.”
“The murder is cold-blooded, pre-planned and brutal. The manner in which it was committed reveals extreme depravity. The action of the accused not only was inhuman but ruthless and barbaric. It shocks not only the judicial conscience but the collective conscience of the society,” said the verdict.
However, the judge refused to accept the prosecution plea to consider the murder rarest of rare and award capital punishment to the convicts. Public prosecutor P Kumaran said they were not satisfied with the court decision and added that they will challenge it in the high court. The CPI (M) has not accepted the verdict against its leaders. The central leadership of the party said they will not take any action against the three convicted leaders on the basis of the verdict.