Murder charges against leaders puts CPM in tight spot

Jayarajan was also an accused in the murder of RSS worker Kathiroor Manoj in 2014. Image source: Facebook/pjayarajan.kannur

In a major embarrassment to the CPM in Kerala, one of its senior party leaders and an MLA have been charged with murder by the CBI.

P Jayarajan, party district secretary in its stronghold Kannur in North Kerala, and MLA T V Rajesh, representing Kaliyassery constituency in Kannur, were charged with conspiracy and murder of Indian Union Muslim League worker Abdul Shukkoor alias Ariyil Shukkoor.

Jayarajan was also an accused in the murder of RSS worker Kathiroor Manoj in 2014.

The fresh developments will be a major setback for the CPM, which already faces accusation of promoting murder politics in Kerala. The BJP and the Congress will be using it during the upcoming Lok Sabha election campaign. Moreover, Jayarajan was being actively considered by the CPM as a candidate in the election. The CPM has termed the developments as political moves.

Ariyil Shukkoor was murdered on February 20, 2012. The prosecution case is that Shukkoor attacked a car in which Jayarajan and Rajesh were travelling after visiting a CPM office that was attacked. To settle scores,  Shukkoor was murdered at Keezhara in Kannur.

The local police who initially probed the case framed light charges against Jayarajan and Rajesh. Both were arrested and released on bail. The case was handed over to the CBI after Shukkoor's mother expressed displeasure over the police probe and approached the HC seeking CBI probe.

CBI findings

The CBI submitted a report at a local court in Thalaserry slapping murder and criminal conspiracy charges on Jayarajan and Rajesh.

Jayarajan and Rajesh were initially arraigned as the 32nd and 33rd accused in the case and the charge against them was concealing facts pertaining to the crime.

The CBI probe found that the murder conspiracy was hatched at Thaliparambu cooperative hospital in Kannur while Jayarajan and Rajesh were admitted there following the attack on their vehicle. Based on it the CBI framed murder charges against the two.

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Murder charges against leaders puts CPM in tight spot

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