Kannur: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan misled the legislative assembly when he said that a cabinet colleague had never expressed the government's willingness for a CBI probe into the murder of a Congress activist in Kannur, official documents showed. The faux pas adds to the worries of the government, already stung by a high court order to leave the case to the CBI.
After attending an all-party meeting in the Kannur Collectorate on February 21, minister A K Balan told reporters that the government was ready to hand over the investigation into the Shuhaib murder case to any agency if the opposition wanted it. Even the minutes of the meeting quotes the minister as saying the government was ready for "any kind of investigation". He did not name the CBI.
The parents of the victim demanded a CBI probe later in the day and handed over the letter to opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, who forwarded it to the chief minister the next day with a covering letter.
Pinarayi, however, said that the police investigation was on the right track and there was no need to involve the CBI. Speaking in the assembly, the chief minister said that Balan never gave the opposition parties such an assurance.
The Congress leadership has alleged that the chief minister has deliberately misled the house as proved by the documents.
Shuhaib was hacked to death at Mattannur on February 12. A special investigation team has arrested 11 CPM members in the case. Congress leader K Sudhakaran had launched a hunger strike demanding a CBI probe into the case but he called off the strike after the government showed no sign of relenting.