Hate speech: Mani grilled



Thodupuzha: Faced with a virtual ultimatum, CPI(M) leader MM Mani on Wednesday turned up before investigators, who grilled him for five hours over his controversial speech that the party had in the past eliminated its foes.

Mani, who had failed to respond to the summons twice, left after promising to appear before them whenever necessary.

Inspector General Padmakumar, who led the police team, said Mani had cooperated with the process and had promised that he would comply with future summons.

Emerging out of the room in the Dy SP office where he was quizzed, Mani said he had been allowed to go and that he had given a word to the police that he would make himself available when required by them.

"We have been able to gather quite a lot of information from him. We have to verify them. If necessary, he will be called again and he has agreed to do so," Padmakumar told reporters.

Former district secretary of CPI(M) in Idukki, Mani landed in trouble in the wake of his controversial public speech that the party in the 1980s drew up a list of foes to be eliminated and done to death three of them.

For the CPI(M) in Kerala, already on the defensive in connection with the murder of RMP leader TP Chandrasekharan, Mani's speech has come as a huge embrarrassment and he was removed from the post last month.

Based on Mani's "revelation" police re-opened some of the past cases of political murders in Idukki and slapped criminal charges against him.

After failing to respond to summons twice, Mani turned up at the DySP office here for questioning. He had little choice but to comply with the notice after the Kerala High Court last week rejected his plea to quash the FIRs against him.

Two days ago Mani's lawyers had told the police team that the CPI(M) leader would not be personally appearing for questioning as he was planning to move the Supreme Court against the High Court order.

The police, however, turned down the plea and made it clear that they would go ahead with the due process.

Though speculation was rife that he had gone into hiding to evade police, Mani surfaced at his home town in Idukki last night after keeping away from public glare for a couple of days.

PTI