CPI(M) leader booked for murder after controversial public statement
Kerala Police charges MM Mani with murder, abetment and concealing design to commit offence
The Thodupuzha Police registered three cases against CPI(M) leader and district secretary of Idukki MM Mani and charged him under IPC 302 for murder, 109 for abetment and 118 for concealing design to commit offence after he alleged in a public speech that his party "meticulously executed political murders" and is capable of doing it again whenever anyone challenges the party.
According to Inspector General of Police K Padmakumar, who is heading the special investigation team, the cases that have been registered against Mani are based on the statements made by the accused. Mani while addressing a political meeting in Mannackanad, near Thodupuzha on 25 May, admitted that his party killed people who challenged its supremacy.
The CPI(M) organised a political meeting in the wake of the murder of TP Chandrasekharan, CPI(M) rebel leader, who was brutally killed on 4 May. The police have arrested four CPI(M) leaders including area secretary of CPI(M)’s Onchiyam Unit and charged them with conspiracy. Mani in his 45-minute speech stated that “the party is in the habit of doing away with its rivals who are in its hit list”.
“We have killed several people in the past and we have the guts to admit it. The party has listed 13 Congress workers in its hit list who worked against our interest in Shanthanpara, one was shot dead, another was beaten to death and the third was stabbed to death. We have done such things in the past and none should frighten us now with gimmicks of arrest,” he boasted about his political past. Mani is not an ordinary leader of the CPI(M) in Idukki. He was elected eight times as district secretary and is the longest serving party functionary in the state. Mani once a VS Achuthanandan loyalist switched over to Pinarayi Vijayan camp when VS decided on a massive eviction in Munnar.
It was the decision of the CPI(M) state secretariat to organise a political meeting in every party stronghold after the state leadership became defensive in TP Chandrasekharan’s murder. However, Mani’s speech was recorded by a local television channel and tapes were handed over to all television channels on Saturday. Though Mani tried to clarify his statement, police took note of his confessions and registered cases against him. Later, Pinarayi Vijayan, state secretary of CPI(M) criticised Mani for making a statement against the party line.
For Congress leaders, Mani’s statement worked as a political bomb. They wasted no time to use it to against the CPI(M). United Democratic Front convener PP Thankachan told Tehelka that he would approach the Election Commision to cancel the registration of CPI(M) based on the revelation made by Mani. “Mani has admitted that his party is practicing annihilation theory. Such a party should not be given registration,” Thankachan argued.
Many CPI(M) leaders who are close to VS believe that Mani made those statements in order to villify VS as he was the CPI(M) state secretary during the period when the political murders took place. “Mani is not a fool to say such things. He wanted to link VS to those murders. But unfortunately he had no knowledge about the various sections of IPC and CrPC,” said a CPI(M) state committee member under conditions of anonymity. The CPI(M) central leadership has already demanded a detailed report on the revelations made by Mani.
Jeemon Jacob is Bureau Chief, South with Tehelka.