40 yrs later, ex-top cop guilty of Naxal's murder

Kochi: Former IGP K Lakshmana, convicted in killing of Naxal leader A Varghese on February 18, 1970, leaves the special CBI court in Kochi on Wednesday. PTI

Varghese was gunned down by police in the Thirunelli forests in Wayanad district on February 18, 1970 in what was described as an ‘encounter’ death. However, former CRPF constable P  Ramachandran Nair came out with a stunning revelation in 1998 that he had himself shot Varghese dead on the orders of the then Superintendent of Police P Vijayan and Deputy Superintendent of Police K Lakshmana. However, the CBI court has acquitted 83-year-old Vijayan for want of concrete evidence.

CBI Special Judge S Vijay Kumar said first accused P Ramachandran Nair who was a stooge of the second accused Lakshmana had murdered Varghese on his orders.

Lakshmana, who was taken to the Ernakulam sub-court after the verdict, will be sentenced on Thursday. The CBI had taken over the investigation on a directive from the High Court in 1999 based on a writ petition alleging that Varghese was killed in a fake encounter.

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