CBI has chargesheeted senior CPI (M) leader P Jayarajan and party legislator T V Rajesh in connection with the murder of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader Abdul Shukoor in 2012.
Jayarajan, the CPI (M) district secretary in Kannur, faces murder and conspiracy charges, while Rajesh faces conspiracy charges.
The CBI had taken over the probe from Kerala police in 2016 after Shukoor’s mother filed a petition in the High Court stating that the conspiracy behind the murder was not unravelled by Kerala police. Jayarajan and Rajesh had been arrested by state police in August 2012, and they were arraigned as 32nd and 33rd accused.
Reacting to the CBI action, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the move was politically motivated. State police didn’t find any evidence against the CPI (M) leaders in the case, he said. The chargesheet is a conspiracy of the Congress-BJP against the CPI (M), he said.
Shukoor, a young IUML leader, was murdered in broad daylight at Ariyil in Kannur district on February 20, 2012, by a gang allegedly comprising local CPI (M) leaders. The incident occurred hours after a group of IUML men attacked a vehicle in which Jayarajan and others were travelling. The CPI (M) leaders were visiting the region, where minor incidents of clashes between CPI (M) and IUML had taken place.
The state police probe revealed that the conspiracy to murder Shukoor was hatched at the hospital where Jayarajan and other CPI (M) leaders were admitted following the attack. While six others in the hospital room were charged with conspiracy, Jayarajan and Rajesh were not charged.
However, the CBI probe revealed that Jayarajan and Rajesh were involved in the conspiracy and that Shukoor was murdered as a revenge for the attack on Jayarajan’s vehicle. Shukoor was targeted on the assumption that he was part of the four-member IUML group which attacked the CPI(M) leader’s vehicle, according to the probe.
However, Shukoor’s family had denied the allegation, saying that he was going to get medical aid for his friend, who was injured at a playground. While Shukoor and others were proceeding towards the hospital, the CPI(M) men mistook them as the men who had targeted Jayarajan’s vehicle, they said. They were taken to a nearby paddy field at Keezhara village, a CPI(M) dominated area.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said this was a big blow to the “violent politics” of the CPI(M). “Shukoor was was caught and his photo was sent across mobiles to confirm his identity before killing him,” he told PTI.