Life term for 11 in Chandrasekharan murder case

Life term for 11 in Chandrasekharan murder case

Eleven people, including three local functionaries of Kerala’s main opposition party the CPM, were on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Kozhikode Special Additional Sessions Court in connection with the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T P Chandrasekharan.

The first seven accused—M C Anoop, Manoj Kumar aka Kirmani Manoj, N K Sunil Kumar aka Kodi Suni, T K Rajeesh, K K Mohammed Shafi, S Sijith and K Shinoj—who belong to a gang of assailants, were awarded life imprisonment by Judge R Narayana Pisharadi for executing the murder in Onchiyam, Kozhikode, on May 4, 2012.

Three CPM activists—Panoor area committee member P K Kunjananthan, K C Ramachandran and Manojan—and one P V Rafeeq were awarded life imprisonment for their involvement in conspiracy behind the murder.

 M K Pradeepan, accused of having concealed weapons used in the murder, was awarded three years’ imprisonment. The special court had found the 12 accused guilty in its verdict on January 22. However, CPM Kozhikode district secretariat member P Mohanan was acquitted.

The court observed that personal enmity had not led to the brutal murder, in line with allegations that political vendetta was the reason behind the murder of Chandrasekharan who formed the RMP after breaking away from the CPM.

Special prosecutor Kumaran Kutti told reporters that the prosecution was not fully satisfied with the verdict as the court refused to agree with its contention that the murder was a “rarest of rare” case that called for capital punishment for the prime accused.

The CPM leaders, including politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and E P Jayarajan, said the party would take the legal course to establish the party functionaries’ innocence. The prosecution and defence counsels are set to appeal against the verdict.

Chandrasekharan’s wife, K K Rama, welcomed the verdict, but said she would appeal in the higher courts seeking harsh sentences for the accused. She will also go on strike in February demanding a CBI probe.

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