CPM state committee member and Idukki district secretary M M Mani had a murder case filed against him by the Kerala police on Monday,days after he had declared that his party has a history of murdering rivals.
At a party meeting at Manakkad village,Mani had said,In 1982,what had we done… ? We had prepared a list: one two three four. You do not understand? The first one was shot dead… the second one was beaten to death… the third one was stabbed to death…
He was referring to three murders in Idukkis Udumbanchola taluk,then a scene of conflict between CITU and INTUC workers for jobs in cardamom estates. Unions would push workers for jobs,getting paid by both the workers and the estate owners.
Here is what happened:
‘The first one wasshot dead
Anchery Baby,November 13,1982: Baby,an INTUC local leader,was murdered at Manathodu. Says his brother Benny,Baby was 28 then. He went out that day; he had faced threats from rivals after he had asked estate owners to give jobs to Congressmen. He was shot dead in the night.
Police arrested seven,three of them CPM men including a local secretary. The CPM threatened witnesses even in court,forcing them to back down, Benny said. The sessions court in 1986 let off the accused for want of evidence. Benny said a High Court appeal was moved in 1987 but alleged the then CPM government was not keen on pursuing the case while the Congress provided no support either. Benny is now a local Congress leader.
the second one was beaten to death
Mullanchira Mathai,January 13,1983: Mathai,38,a farmer,was the Congresss leader in Rajakumari panchayat. He had taken the initiative in forming a Congress unit in a village and influenced 50 CPM workers to cross over. On the night of January 13,he was returning home when a group beat him to death. Says Senapathi Venu,a Congress leader,There were no witnesses. It was the CPM who produced a list of accused. All were let off.
the third one was stabbed to death
Muttukadu Nanappan,June 6,1983: A Congress leader in Chinnakkanal,he was stabbed by a group in his village,Muttudad,when he was going to a party function. He had helped organise workers to the INTUC side. Among the accused,all let off,was the CPMs Pusharaj.
The new case
The police registered the case on legal advice. Mani was charged under IPC sections 302,109 (abetment) and 118 (concealing the design to commit an offence). George Varghese,SP,said though Mani had referred to three murders,a new case was registered. We will look into the possibility of reopening other murder cases as the probe progresses.
Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said a Special Investigation Team would handle the probe. P T Thomas,Congress MP from Idukki,said the conspiracy behind those political murders had never been probed.