Prison row: Home Minister seeks DGP`s explanation

Row over prison breach in Kozhikode jail took serious turn with Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan seeking an explanation from the DGP (Prisons) for his comments.

PTI| Updated: Dec 05, 2013, 23:30 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The row over alleged breach of prison rules in a Kozhikode jail took a serious turn tonight with Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan seeking an explanation from the DGP (Prisons) for his comments having legal bearing on a sensational political murder case.
Radhakrishnan expressed "displeasure" over DGP Alexander Jacob`s remarks that the row over prison rules violations appeared to have been made with the intention of influencing the outcome of the case, a spokesman for the Minister said.

The Minister also took objection to Jacob`s justification of one of the accused in the case -- local CPI(M) leader Mohanan -- meeting his wife and party MLA Lathika at a hotel in Kozhikode while being taken to court a few weeks ago.

According to the Home Minister`s Office, Jacob had been asked to give his explanation in writing.
The row over the issue had hotted up with the DGP holding that it was difficult to rush to conclusions on the alleged mobile phone use and Facebook postings by undertrials without any scientific examination.

He also said timing of the controversy was also "suspect" as one could not help doubting if it was part of efforts to influence the verdict in the case to ensure punishment to the accused as the court was expected to pronounce the judgement by this month end.

The comments sparked strong reactions against the official from the ruling Congress and the BJP, while a top CPI(M) leader termed them as "logical and sensible and a charge-sheet against the UDF government".

"Whatever things have been exposed by the media require scientific examination... You have been attacking (us) for the last three days... Media should avoid creating controversies over the issue," Jacob told reporters.

Refuting the allegation that the Prison Department had failed to take action on the directive issued by the Home Department some six months ago based on intelligence reports that the accused in the case getting undue facilities, he said four raids had been conducted in the jail following that warning.

Slamming Jacob for "justifying the accused", Socialist Janata (Democratic) leader M P Veerendrakumar even before completion of the inquiry, he demanded that the DGP be immediately removed from "all responsibilities".

DGP (Prisons) should be removed from the inquiry committee if the probe had to move ahead, he said in a statement in Kozhikode.

Chandrasekharan, who floated his own outfit RMP after quitting CPI(M), was hacked to death in May 2012 near his native village Onchiyam. Many accused are local CPI(M) workers, apart from goons allegedly hired to execute the murder.