CPM leaders force bldg owner to pay Rs 12 lakh to settle spat with tenant

Representational Image. Photo: Manorama Online

Thrissur: Three CPM leaders have allegedly taken a bribe of Rs 12 lakh from a building owner to make a party member vacate a room in a commercial property along the Coastal Highway here. The incident came to light through social media groups in the Gulf within a week after the deal. The post was titled ‘The robbery by the leaders of the party nurtured with our hard-earned money from the Gulf’. This post was shared by thousands of people.

The shop which was run by the LC member of the party, indirectly, had remained closed for some time. When the building owner asked to vacate the room and return the space, the party member demanded a huge sum, despite not settling the rent arrears.

The building owner, who is also a party sympathiser, was reportedly summoned to the CPM Local Committee office. The leaders extracted money after threatening him.

Usually, a small amount is given in the coastal belt in such cases. However, the party member asked for Rs 20 lakh to vacate the room. He also threatened the owner that renting it out to others would be prevented unless he was paid the sum.

Later, after discussions and compromise talks for many days, it was agreed to settle for Rs 12 lakh.

Party sympathisers in the area claimed that the money was shared between the Local Committee secretary, the LC member and the Area Committee member These leaders had earlier faced allegations in the case of getting money by pledging fake jewellery at a cooperative society, and also for collecting money for a former legislator.

All three persons, alleged to have taken money, contribute financially to party programmes; hence other local leaders are not able to oppose them. The party members said these leaders have antagonized a person from a ‘party family’ for years together.

Even though the party members themselves raised the matter at the CPM Area Committee, it was not conveyed to the District Committee. The prominent party leaders from the coastal belt also did not have any information about the incident.

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