CPM leader MM Mani arrested
To protest his arrest, CPM has called a hartal in Idukki district on Thursday, where Mani was party secretary
Kerala police on Wednesday 21 November arrested the controversial CPIM leader and former Idukki district Secretary MM Mani, who made an open statement that the party had engineered political murders in the Eighties.
In a dramatic operation coded ‘Operation Ringtone’, the special investigation team picked Mani from his residence in Kunnhithanni village at 5.40 am and produced him before the Nedunkandam Judicial First Class Magistrate at 9 am. He was remanded to judicial custody till 4 December.
Earlier, the SIT had served notice to Mani to appear for polygraph test by Wednesday. Citing legal and medical grounds, Mani had informed the police that he would not comply with its demands to undergo a polygraph test.
According to a senior police official, the police team headed by four Dy SPs, led his arrest. “It was a smooth operation and he cooperated with the police team. When the police knocked at his door, he opened the door and welcomed the team in a cool manner. He requested 30 minutes to take bath,” the official said.
To protest his arrest, CPM has called a hartal tomorrow in Idukki district, where Mani was the party secretary for more than two decades.
While addressing a political meeting at Manakkad village in Idukki district, Mani had stated that CPM had made a hit list to engineer political murders and three persons were brutally killed by the party. Police registered a case against Mani in the murder of Anchery Baby, a Youth Congress leader who was shot dead on 19 November 1982.
According to Mani’s speech, Mullanchira Mathai was beaten to death in January 1983, Muttukad Nanappan was fatally stabbed in June 1983 and Balu was hacked to death by CPM in 2004.
In Balu’s murder case, five persons were convicted and are presently serving their sentence at Open Prison, Thiruvananthapuram. In all other cases, the accused were acquitted for the want of evidence.
CPM state secretariat termed Mani’s arrest as a “political vengeance of the Oommen Chandy government.”
Jeemon Jacob is Bureau Chief, South with Tehelka.