TP Chandrasekharan murder convicts will not be freed: Kannur Jail Superintendent

RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan. Photo: Manorama

Kannur: The Jail Superintendent of Kannur Central Prison Balram Kumar Upadhyay on Saturday clarified to Manorama News that convicts of the TP Chandrasekharan murder case will not be released. A controversy had erupted following reports that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had commenced efforts to release the murder convicts despite a Kerala High Court order imposing a fixed life term of 20 years without remission.

"The names of the TP case convicts were included in a list as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsavas initiative. Jail officials across the country were instructed to draw a list of eligible convicts for the same. Many prisoners who are in jail for more than 10 years were automatically included in the list," he told Manorama News.

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsavas, a central government initiative, involves communting sentences of convicted prisoners. The scheme, however, does not apply to those prisoners who were convicted with death sentence, life imprisonment, rape, terror charges, dowry deaths and money laundering cases.

A letter sent by the Kannur Prison Superintendent asking for a police report on remitting the sentences of TK Rajeesh, Muhammad Shafi, and Anna Sijith had leaked to the public domain. The superintendent's move followed the withdrawal of the model code of conduct in place for the Lok Sabha elections.

Incidentally, these three were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by the Kerala High Court, which restricted their right to remission. Dismissing a petition by the convicts seeking to set aside the punishment awarded by the Kozhikode Additional Sessions Court, the High Court had indeed enhanced their sentence by the trial court. This month, the government has also granted parole to the TP case convicts: Manoj, Muhammad Shafi, Sinoj, Sijith, and Rajeesh.

The prison superintendent had asked the Kannur City Police Commissioner for the report. The letter, sent on June 13, stated that there is a primary proposal to release the three convicts as per a government order in 2022 and calls for an investigation into all three of them. The letter also demands that the report be filed at the earliest by holding inquiries with the relatives and friends of these convicts, besides the victims of their crimes, if any. The government plans to release as many as 59 convicts in this manner as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

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