The Special Additional Sessions Court (Marad cases) at Eranhipalam in Kozhikode on Wednesday convicted 12 of the 36 accused in connection with the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan at Onchiyam on May 4, 2012.
Pronouncing the judgement, judge R. Narayana Pisharadi, found the prime accused M.C. Anoop, Kirmani Manoj, N.K. Sunil Kumar aka Kodi Suni, T.K. Rajeesh, K.K. Mohammed Shafi, Annan Shijith, K. Shinoj, K.C. Ramachandran (member of the Kunnummakkara local committee), Manojan aka Trouser Manojan, (branch seceratry of Kadanganpoyil of the CPI (M)) P.K. Kunhanandan (member of the Panur area committee of the CPI (M)), P.V. Rafeeque M.K. Pradeepan aka Lambu guilty of the crime.
The quantum of punishment will be decided in the coming days.
Those acquitted included P. Mohanan, district secretariat member of the CPI (M), K.K. Krishnan, member of the Onchiyam area committee of the CPI (M) and M.K. Raveednran aka Padayamkandi Raveendran, member of the local committee of the CPI (M).
The prosecution case was that a section of CPI(M) leaders in Kozhikode and Kannur districts allegedly hatching a conspiracy and hiring a seven-member gang to kill Mr. Chandrasekharan, who had walked out of the party and floated a dissident outfit at Onchiyam.
Meanwhile K.K. Rema, wife of the slain RMP leader said that she was “not fully satisfied” with the verdict. However the verdict exposed the role of the CPI (M) in Kozhikode and Kannur districts in hatching a plot to kill Mr. Chandrasekharan. She said she would go for an appeal against the acquittal of the other CPI (M) leaders and also demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the conspiracy angle.
Initially, the special police team had chargesheeted 76 people. But the High Court in January stayed the trial proceedings against 15 accused, including K.K. Ragesh, CPI(M) State committee member. Two other accused, T. Rahul and K. Mohammed Sahir, are still at charge. C.H. Ashokan, former Onchiyam area secretary, who was named ninth accused, died.
At present, only 36 accused face trial as the court acquitted 20 of them in September last and discharged two others in December. As many as 52 of the 164 prosecution witnesses turned hostile during the trial. The defence counsel brought in 10 witnesses for deposing.
Unprecedented security has been put in place in the city and in the rural areas of the district. Prohibitory orders have been issued under Section 78 (regulation to prevent violence) and Section 79 (regulation of public assemblies) of the Kerala Police Act for five days.