Riyas Moulavi murder case: Cong alleges CPM-RSS pact behind acquittal

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan. File Photo: PTI

Thiruvananthapuram/Kasaragod: The Congress on Sunday slammed the Left government over the acquittal of three RSS activists in the murder of a madrassa teacher inside a mosque seven years ago. Accusing the police and prosecution of handling the case poorly, the opposition party sought to know if they were released as part of a "secret agreement" between the RSS and CPM ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan and KPCC acting president M M Hassan urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to explain the circumstances that led to the acquittal of the RSS activists.

The government, however, made it clear that they would approach the High Court against the verdict pronounced by the Principal Sessions Court in Kasaragod yesterday. The Director General of Prosecution and the Home Department are initiating the required steps, they said.

Mohammed Riyas Moulavi, a 34-year-old muezzin (a person who proclaims the Islamic call to prayer) and a madrassa teacher from Choori near Kasaragod, was found murdered in his room in the mosque on March 20, 2017. His throat was allegedly slit by a gang which had entered the compound of Muhayuddin Juma Masjid of Choori.

The court in its order said the prosecution was not able to prove the accused had any kind of enmity with the Muslim community. "The CM should react to the serious lapses made by the police and the prosecution as the court itself has intensely criticised the investigation," Hassan said.

Satheesan said it was the responsibility of the police and prosecution to ensure maximum punishment for the accused in the brutal murder, he told reporters in Kasaragod. He said the court itself observed in the verdict that the investigation carried out in the case was "sub-standard and unilateral". Satheesan claimed that a conspiracy had been hatched to protect the RSS workers allegedly involved in the crime. He alleged that the government failed to ensure punishment to the accused in such a crucial case and that the higher-ups were also responsible for that.

Law Minister P Rajeeve rejected the opposition charges and said the recent order of the trial court was generally viewed as the "rarest of the rare" verdict and assured that the government would approach the High Court against it. "At first glance, it evokes suspicion as to whether the seven findings in the 133 verdict were enough for the acquittal of the accused. The Director General of Prosecution is examining this," he told reporters here. He also claimed that a remarkable and scientific probe was carried out into the brutal incident.

Meanwhile, Kasaragod Town police registered a case against three people for allegedly airing provocative comments regarding the incident on the YouTube channel of a prominent Malayalam news channel. "The three YouTube account holders were booked under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code today. Further action will be initiated against them after collecting their details," a police officer told PTI.

Section 153A of the IPC refers to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. and carrying out acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony.

Kasaragod Principal Sessions Court Judge K K Balakrishnan acquitted Akhilesh, Nidhin, and Ajesh, all three residents of Kelugude, in the case. The accused spent seven years in jail without bail.
(With PTI inputs)

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.