Periya murders: Fresh arrests a ploy to block CBI probe, say kin, Cong

Periya murders: Fresh arrests a ploy to block CBI probe, say kin, Cong
Youth Congress workers Kripesh and Sharathlal, who were brutally hacked to death allegedly by CPM workers in Periya, Kasaragod.

Kasaragod: A day after the arrests of a CPM area secretary and local secretary in connection with the twin murder of Youth Congress workers Sharathlal and Kripesh at Periya in Kerala's Kasaragod district, Congress leaders on Wednesday described this as a plot by the ruling CPM-led government to stop any attempt to hand over the case to the CBI.

Family members of the slain youths and Congress had earlier demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as they suspected any investigation by the state agencies would help the culprits.

The home department had handed over the case to state crime branch. The Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested Uduma CPM area secretary and district committee member K Manikandan and Periya local secretary N Balakrishnan for tampering with material evidence and helping the accused to stay away from law enforcement agencies. Manikandan and Balakrishnan were later released on bail.

Congress leaders alleged that the duo were charged under weak sections of the IPC so that they could be released on bail immediately. The arrest of the local leaders after the Lok Sabha poll voting on April 23 in Kerala shows how the government tactfully avoided any damage to the party.

“The Crime Branch submitted the report on April 12 before the High Court. On April 17 also we reiterated that the now arrested persons had a role in the murder. However, the government tactfully used all the machinery not to release the report before the election. They knew that would have an impact in all the 20 LS constituencies in the state. The Crime Branch report had recommended non-bailable Sections on Manikandan, but the Kanhangad APP, a nominee of the CPM avoided it,” said Kasaragod DCC president Hakkim Kunnil.

He added that Manikandan, who is a member of the Kerala State Youth Commission, should be immediately removed from the post.

“A member of the commission that is constituted for the development of the youth in the state is accused of helping the killers of two youngsters. He is also receiving honorarium for the post. The CPM should immediately expel both of them, if the statements of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan were true,” the DCC president added.

Sharathlal's father Sathyanarayanan and Kripesh's father Krishnan had filed a plea before the High Court demanding CBI investigation into the case. Crime Branch DySP PM Pradeep submitted a counter petition to dismiss the plea and the court is scheduled to consider the counter petition on May 24. Congress leaders alleged that the fresh arrests are meant to show before the court that the Kerala police is doing its job well and avoid the CBI investigation.