Kerala okays CBI probe into RMP leader's murder case

The Kerala government on Friday announced an in-principle approval for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged conspiracy behind the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T P Chandrasekharan. 

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, making the announcement, did not offer a time frame for the probe since the government was weighing technical and legal options before making a formal announcement.

Following Chandy’s assurance, K K Rema, wife of the slain RMP leader, ended her fast near the state secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. RMP leaders called the fast a “historic success” even as reports emerged on differences within the Congress in connection with the decision. Rema, who was on the fifth day of her fast, was shifted to a hospital.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), which saw three of its functionaries and eight others awarded life imprisonment in connection with the murder, dismissed the fast as a failure. The government has already constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the larger conspiracy behind the murder.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday said the government had not assured the RMP of a CBI probe. The government’s change of stance on Friday also points at differences within the party. 

A high drama unfolded after Home Minister Chennithala came out in the open with a letter from the Leader of the Opposition and CPM veteran V S Achuthanandan. The letter addressed to the chief minister  backed Rema’s demand for a CBI probe.
 It criticised the government for not addressing her demand. Through the letter, Achuthanandan sought a follow-up probe to expose conspiracy behind the murder.

The incident left the CPM red-faced even as party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters that Achuthanandan couldn’t have sent the letter and the opposition leader’s former staff members could be involved. Soon, Achuthanandan himself confirmed that he did send the letter. “I’ve sent the letter… the party can discuss it,” Achuthanandan responded to reporters’ queries in Thiruvananthapuram, directly countering Vijayan’s statement in this connection.

Achuthanandan’s latest move could yet again trigger more problems. The opposition leader had publicly backed Rema’s demand for a CBI probe, leading the CPM state committee to censure him. Despite speculation, Achuthanandan kept away from Rema’s protest venue but the letter is set to dent what the CPM has proclaimed as a unanimous stance in connection with Chandrasekharan’s murder.

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