Thiruvananthapuram: Nearly a decade after the political assassination of Marxist renegade TP Chandrasekharan, the case is still hogging the headlines in Kerala, thus continuing to embarrass the ruling CPM.
The 2012 case is heading for yet another legal battle with the special public prosecutor Advocate CK Sreedharan informing the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government of his inability to continue on health grounds.
Chandrasekharan's wife and Vadakara MLA KK Rema, meanwhile, is likely to approach the government, demanding the appointment of a prominent Delhi-based advocate like Kapil Sibal as prosecutor.
Adv Sreedharan, a former president of the Kasaragod District Congress Committee, has sent a letter to the Home Secretary, informing his decision to withdraw. He decided to step down even as the High Court is set to take up the accused men's petitions challenging the 2014 trial court verdict.
As is well known CPM's foot soldiers are blamed for the ghastly murder at Onchiyam.
CM's likely stand
With Rema planning to raise such a demand, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's stand on the issue is to be seen. Vijayan, who was the CPM State secretary when Chandrasekharan was killed, had lashed out against the special investigation team and the United Democratic Front (UDF).
Advocate K Goplakrishna Kurup, who had appeared in court for the murder accused, is currently the State Advocate General, and his stand on Rema's likely demand, too, would be crucial.
Accused P Mohanan, who was acquitted by the trial court, is now the Kozhikode district secretary of the CPM. He was initially arrested for criminal conspiracy.
Another accused KK Ragesh has been appointed as private secretary to the Chief Minister. He was arrested for aiding the accused, but was acquitted in an interim verdict.
Rema and the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), a breakaway group of the CPM, are concerned over the possible stand of the government since all the accused men are now part of the LDF government.
Incidentally, CPM had spent crores to bring senior advocates from Delhi in the Periya twin murder and Shuhaib murder cases.
The UDF is likely to protest if the government rejects Rema's demand.
The case trail
TP Chandrasekharan, 52, the founder of the Revolutionary Marxist Party, was hacked to death by a gang around 10 pm on May 4, 2012. He was returning home on his bike, when the gang knocked him down with their car before brutally hacking him.
The then UDF government constituted a special investigation team, which arrested 76 people in the case.
The Additional Sessions Court in Kozhikode sentenced 11 to life imprisonment and awarded three years' jail term to another one person on January 22, 2014. PK Kunhanandan, former Panoor area committee member of the CPM, died while undergoing imprisonment on June 11, 2020. One person completed his jail term. Of the remaining 10, all except Kodi Suni, were granted parole more than three months ago, considering the spread of COVID-19.
Rema wants all accused, including P Mohanan, who was acquitted by the trial court, to be punished. All 11, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment, should be awarded the capital punishment. The State Government also has the same demand as of Rema. However, the 10 convicts, excluding the late Kunhanandan, plead innocence and seek acquittal.