In more trouble for the embattled CPI-M leadership in Kerala, another party leader was booked on the charge of threatening police probing an IUML worker's murder.
CPI-M Idukki District Secretary MM Mani, whose statement at a recent public meeting on elimination of foes has landed him and the party in trouble, failed to comply with the police summons to appear before the Special Investigation Team probing political murders since the 1980s but deputed his lawyers to explain his position.
Mani moved the high court seeking quashing of the case, contending it was 'wrong and illegal' to file FIR on the basis of a speech. Senior Advocate, MK Damodaran, appearing for Mani, said his client's speech was 'reckless', but the act of the state was 'more reckless'.
Director General of Prosecutions T Asaf Ali said a detailed probe was necessary on the basis of disclosures made by Mani to find out details of the remaining 10 persons in the list (of political foes) allegedly prepared by CPIM as stated by him in his speech. The hearing will continue tomorrow.
After Mani's stunning remarks, the SIT was set up by the Congress-led UDF Government to probe political murders in Idukki district in the 1980s.
Complicating matters for CPI-M, state Committee member MV
Jayarajan asked party workers to store water mixed with chilli powder to counter police if they continued to 'harass' them under the pretext of probe.
"CPI-M activists should store water mixed with chilli powder to counter police who visit their houses to probe cases against them," he said during a protest march to Taliparamba police station yesterday.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy took exception to Jayarajan's remarks saying such statements amounted to challenging the rule of law.
Jayarajan's remarks came even as CPI-M leadership is busy in salvage operations after Mani's speech deeply embarrassed the party struggling to remove the taint caused by the arrest of some of its workers in connection with the recent murder of Marxist rebel T P Chandrasekharan, who had floated his own outfit after his expulsion from the party.
The party is also struggling to cope with the open differences and public spat between party veteran V S Achuthanandan and his arch rival and state unit Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the wake of Chandrasekharan's murder.
In another development, police said a case was registered against CPI-M Kannur District Secretary P Jayarajan for threatening and levelling personal charges against policemen inquiring into an IUML activist's murder some months ago.
A crucial meeting of the CPI-M state secretariat which discussed the internal issues did not decide on any action against Mani, who has refused to step down from the organisational post.
But it decided to seek explanation from three personal staff members of Achuthanandan for "leaking out information" to media.
Idukki: A senior CPI-M leader facing murder charges after a controversial statement that his party had eliminated its political foes in the past on Wednesday failed to appear before the SIT for questioning even as the party faced further embarrassment with another functionary asking cadre to store chilli water to use it against police coming for probe.
First Published: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 22:47