A special court in Kozhikode on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment to three CPM local leaders and eight others, including a seven-member killer gang, who were convicted of the murder of CPM rebel leader T P Chandrasekharan. One more person who was also convicted in the case got three years rigorous imprisonment.
Last week, additional session judge Narayana Pishoradi had found 12 persons guilty on charges of murdering Chandrasekharan, a leader of rebel outfit Revolutionary Marxist Party at Onchiyam in Kozhikode district on May 4, 2012. Of the 36 accused, the court had acquitted 24 persons, including CPM leader P Mohanan, husband of party legislator K K Lathika.
The convicted CPM leaders are area committee member P K Kunhananthan, local committee member K C Ramachandran and branch committee secretary T Manoj. Another accused, V Rafeeque, who arranged the vehicle for the killers, was also given life term. They were involved in the conspiracy to kill Chandrasekharan and hire the gang for the crime. Apart from life term, they were sentenced to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh each. Another convict, L Pradeep, who concealed the weapons after the murder, was given three-year RI.
The court observed that the murder was a planned political killing. The supari gang was only a weapon in the hands of those who had harboured political vendetta towards the slain person, leader of an emerging political party. The murder had shocked society at large and had been topic of debate. But the media discussions had not influenced the verdict, the court observed.
The judge said the case did not fall in the category of rarest of the rare, though the murder was heinous in nature.
CPM politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the party would go for an appeal to prove the innocence of the three workers convicted in the case.