Retired IG K Lakshmana,undergoing life term in connection with the one of the first fake Naxal encounter deaths in the country,was released on July 5. Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar ratified the government move to release him and three others,serving life term,on the ground that they are above 75 years of age. Lakshmana is 79.
A Dalit,Lakshmana was in jail since October 2010 after the CBI court in Kochi found him guilty of murdering Naxal leader A Varghese in Wayanad in 1970. The case was reopened in 1998 when a retired constable confessed that he had shot dead Varghese at the behest of Lakshmana,then a DSP.
ADGP (prisons) Alexander Jacob said that the governor is empowered to release any prisoner above 65 years of age under Section 161 of the Constitution.
The state government recommended to the Governor the release of seven life-term prisoners who had completed 75. Lakshmana has various ailments. Although we recommended to the governor in 2012,the sanction came after Nikhil Kumar took over, said Jacob.
Earlier Lakshmanas appeal to annul the CBI court verdict was rejected by the High Court. Vargheses family has said they would move the HC against the release. Ultra Left organisations in the state have opposed his release from the jail.