Thiruvananthapuram: The latest CPI charge that Maoist leader Manivasakam was killed in police custody has put both the Kerala chief minister who endorsed the Attappady killings and the LDF government on the back foot once again.
The CPI dissent got more serious after the police arrested two young CPM activists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for alleged links with Maoists. "The political stand of both the CPI and CPM are same on this issue. We can't discard it just because we are in power," said CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran.
The CPI came out against charging the law students under the draconian UAPA provisions, forcing the CPM to join the protests following which the chief minister stopped any such arrests without the approval of an IG-rank officer. The statement by Politburo member M A Baby, who slammed the police action, brought out the divisions within the party over the issue.
The CPI team that visited the encounter site at the Manjikandy forest area in Attappady under the leadership of assistant secretary found that other than the presence of Maoists in the area there was no immediate provocation to eliminate them.
(The president of Puthoor panchayat, which inlcudes Manjakkatty, and the ward president are CPI members.)
The CPI team that visited the encounter site believes that the sound of gunshot heard by the inquest team was that of the bullet fired to take the life of Manivasakam. “There was only one gunshot sound. If it was an encounter, it won't be so," said Prakash Babu.
It is interesting to note that the CPI, which is still being hounded for the custody death of Rajan in 1976, has turned against the government helmed by its partner CPM. The CPI believes that its friendship with the CPM and the government won't be affected by telling the truth. It also admits that the positive mood created by the victory in bypolls has been hit by the Maoist killings.