Shahjahan murder: Four more arrested, second accused says they are CPM men

(Left) Aneesh, the second accused in the murder of Shahjahan (right).

The Kerala police team probing the murder of CPM activist Shahjahan in Palakkad have arrested for more people. The arrest of Vishnu, Suneesh, Sivarajan and Satheesh, who were already in custody, was recorded on Thursday. All of them are natives of Kottekkad. The police have arrested eight accused so far.

Four more people who are suspected of arranging weapons for the accused have also been detained.

In a related development, the second accused, Aneesh, claimed that he and his co-accused are also CPM workers. He told Manorama News that personal enmity was the reason for the murder. He spoke to the channel when he was brought to a court in Palakkad.

The CPM rubbished Aneesh’s claim saying it was part of RSS’s plan. “Do you think a CPM member will go to install flex boards for Sree Krishna Jayanti and Ganesholsavam? Will a CPM member wear rakhi? This (Aneesh’s revelation) is evidence of the RSS’s conspiracy. They have taught the murderers what to say after committing the crime,” CPM leader and former MP N N Krishnadas told Manorama News. He said Shajahan had criticised Aneesh for wearing rakhi and installing the flex boards of RSS’ events.

Aneesh, along with Kalippara native Naveen and Kunnankad natives Sabareesh and Sujeesh were arrested on Wednesday.

Palakkad district police chief R Viswanath on Wednesday said that personal enmity and political rivalry were behind the murder. There was a dispute between Shajahan and some of the accused recently after the latter tied rakhi on their wrist and erected a flex board about Ganeshotsvam. A rakhi is a coloured thread used mostly by RSS supporters in Kerala as part of the Rakhsabandhan festival. The accused, who used to be active with the ruling CPM, have been keeping away from party works of late, the police said.

The accused were not in good terms with Shahjahan after he was appointed the secretary of CPM's Kunnankad branch committee in 2019. A branch committee is the smallest unit of the Marxist party.

Shahjahan was hacked to death by the gang on the night of September 14. Earlier that day, there was a dispute between Shajahan and prime accused Naveen.

Naveen was picked from Pollachi while other three were taken into custory from a hideout at Kozhimala near Malampuzha forest.

Three swords, allegedly used for the murder, were retrieved from a paddy field near Korayarppuzha during evidence collection. A rakhi was also found from the spot. The FIR states that Shahjahan was hacked to death by eight RSS supporters due to political grudge, the police have not yet confirmed the political background of the arrested.  

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