CPM MLA had beforehand knowledge of Kasaragod murder: Ramesh Chennithala

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MLA from Uduma had absented himself from the festival committee meeting of the local Kalliyootu Bhagavathy Temple on the evening of the killings

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday accused CPM legislator K. Kunhiraman of having had beforehand knowledge of the killings of two Youth Congress workers in Periya in Kasaragod on February 14 night.

He told journalists that the MLA from Uduma had absented himself from the festival committee meeting of the local Kalliyootu Bhagavathy Temple on the evening of the killings. Mr. Kunhiraman headed the committee in which the slain youth, Kripesh and Sarath Lal, were also members.

The men were killed on their way back home from the meeting that the MLA was scheduled to attend but did not at the last moment. The CPM Kasaragod district secretary, who was supposed to attend the committee meeting, also absented himself unusually.

Mr. Chennithala also raised the possibility that a set of spotters could have tailed the youth from the temple. He said they could have helped the hit-men, possibly experienced killers from a CPM stronghold in Kannur, who were lying in wait with sharp-edged weapons to target the youth accurately.

Mr. Chennithala attempted to pick holes in the police enquiry by stating that the accused CPM local committee member, A. Peethambaran, could not organise or execute the killings on his own.

The CPM had tried to make a scapegoat of Peethambaran, who had lost the use of his right hand recently in political violence, to save the real ring leaders. His wife had stated as much and rejected the police narrative that her husband was a drug addict and had committed the crime under its influence.

Mr. Chennithala said the “broken and rusted sword and two iron rods” the police had recovered from an abandoned well were possibly planted there as misleading evidence and not the real weapons used for the crime.

The Opposition leader said that the conduct of CPM leaders before and after the crime was suspicious. He added that the former Uduma MLA had visited the family of the suspect and offered them cash to remain silent after the CPM expelled Peethambaram from the party.

A cabal of pliant officers and CPM leaders have plotted to protect the real accused in the case, Mr. Chennithala said, reiterating his demand for a CBI enquiry.

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