Political animosity behind Shahjahan murder, police now change tack

palakkad shajahan murder
People paying their last respects to Shahjahan; slain CPM worker Shahjahan

Palakkad: The probe into the murder of CPM local branch secretary Shahjahan has picked up the pace with the arrest of all suspects. Significantly, the police have now termed it a political murder rather than one caused by personal animosity as it was initially stated even as the accused averred they were CPM activists.

In its application filed before a court seeking custody of the accused, the police made it clear that the arrested, all BJP supporters, committed the murder with a political motive.

Though the First Information Report mentioned that the accused were BJP workers, the district police chief initially said reasons like personal enmity had led to Shahjahan’s murder. When asked about the political angle, he added the police were probing all the possibilities.

CPM district secretary E N Suresh Babu had come out in the open against the police stance. He criticized the police officer's hesitation in revealing that the accused were associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Meanwhile, the accused claimed they were CPM workers when produced before the court on Friday.

The Judicial First-Class Magistrate Court remanded the main accused Kalippara native Naveen (29), Kunnankad natives Sabareesh (30), Aneesh (29), and Sujeesh (27) in six days of police custody.

The other accused, Kunnankad natives S Vishnu (22), S Suneesh (23), N Shivarajan (32), and K Satheesh (Sajeesh-31), were sent to 14 days custody.

One of the accused, N Shivarajan, complained he was beaten up in police custody and was suffering from back pain as a result. He claimed before the media that the cops forced him to name his brother and that he was a CPM loyalist. Second accused Aneesh on Friday reiterated that they were all CPM workers.

Inquiry officer Deputy Superintendent of Police V K Raju said the probe into the case is progressing well, and there is no need for the police to resort to force.

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