CPI(M) leader P Jayarajan surrenders before court in Kannur

CPI(M) leader P Jayarajan surrenders before court in Kannur
CPI(M) leader P Jayarajan surrenders before court in Kannur

CPI(M) Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan, who is listed as an accused in a case relating to the murder of aBJP functionary in 2014, today surrendered before the sessions court here.

Jayarajan arrived at the court in an ambulance and surrendered before at 11 AM. He has been remanded in judicial custody for a month.

His counsel drew the attention of the court to his health condition and wanted him to be shifted to a hospital, which was turned down by the court saying for the time being he should be taken to Kannur Jail and the jail superintendent can take an appropriate decision later.

The Marxist strongman’s anticipatory bail plea had been rejected by the Kerala High Court yesterday after observing that there was prima facie material to charge him under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Earlier, the Thalassery district and sessions court had also rejected his anticipatory bail plea.

He is the 25th accused in the case relating to the murder of RSS functionary Manoj.

Manoj was hacked to death in politically volatile Kathiroor in Kannur district on September 1, 2014, allegedly by a group of CPI(M) workers. CBI is investigating the case.

Earlier, talking to reporters, Jayarajan alleged that the RSS leadership had met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala to list him as an accused in the case.

He said the case was “politically motivated and the CBI was implementing the RSS agenda.” CPI(M) will face the case legally and politically, he said.

( Source – PTI )

We forced Shinde to write letter: CPI-M

Welcoming union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s missive to state chief ministers urging them to ensure that no Muslim youth is wrongfully harassed in terror cases, the CPI-M Wednesday said it forced Shinde to take that stand.

“We raised the issue several times. We raised it at the Sep 23 National Integration Council meeting also. We forced the home minister to write such a letter,” Communist Party of India-Marxist central committee member Mohammed Salim said here.

He said empirical data from the past 10 to 12 years suggest that young Muslim men were wrongly implicated in terror cases.

A number of courts have also made similar observations, said the CPI-M leader, who opposed Bharatiya Janata party chief Rajnath Singh’s comments that the letter went against the spirit of the constitution.

He said Rajnath Singh should have instead culled more information about the context in which the letter was written.

“The letter is very much within the framework of the constitution, as the judiciary has, on a number of occasions, made similar observations,” he said.

Salim said that while his party was for strong action against those involved in terrorism cases, it could not remain oblivious to the communal profiling and attitude of a section of the police and security forces. Innocent Muslims youths have suffered harassment and imprisonment, he said.

(Source: IANS)

Congress in disarray over T.P. Chandrasekheran murder

With a large number of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadre accused in the 2012 murder of T.P. Chandrasekheran, the Congress unit in Kerala smelt an opportunity to score political points.

However, as a trial court acquitted 20 of the 56 accused Wednesday last for lack of evidence, the factionalism within the Kerala unit of the Congress came to the fore. Congress factions under the respective leadership of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and state party president Ramesh Chennithala reacted differently to the verdict.

It appears now that the Chennithala faction of the Congress may be rather more saddened by the acquittals than the family of Chandra sekheran. “It’s most unfortunate that 20 of the accused have now been let off for want of evidence.

Has the probe team done a good and fair job,” asked Laly Vincent, the only woman vice president of the state Congress. K.K. Rema, wife of the slain leader, said she had complete trust in the prosecution.

She said repeated threatening by the CPI-M had caused 50 witnesses in the case to turn hostile, leading to the acquittal of the 20 accused. K. Muraleedharan, son of former Kerala chief minister K. Karunakaran, who has now emerged as a spokesman of sorts for the Chennithala faction of the Congress party, said: “This was one case which had dented the image of the CPI-M, and our party could have used this case as the biggest weapon in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.”

Muraleedharan also urged that the government order a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the case. The May 4, 2012, murder of Chandrasekheran, who was ousted from the CPI-M in 2008 and went on to launch the Revolutionary Marxist Party, occurred as the 51-year-old was returning home near Onchiyam in Kozhikode district.

He was hacked 51 times by a group of armed assailants. The police swung into action and rounded up 56 people, many of them senior CPI-M leaders from Kozhikode and Kannur districts. There are leaders within the Chennithala faction who believe that the 20 acquittals may also have been quid pro quo for the CPI-M’s withdrawal of the siege it had laid on the state secretariat last month, just a day after announcing that the novel form of protest would continue, until the chief minister resigned over what was termed the “solar scam,” in which former members of Chandy’s personal staff were allegedly involved.

State Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the main public prosecutor in the T.P. Chandrasekheran murder case was one of the tallest leaders of the Congress party in North Kerala, who belonged to the Chennithala faction.

In response, Kozhikode district Congress president K.C. Abu said: “In a situation when even the legendary Diego Maradona might have found it hard to hit a goal, here now we have Escobars aplenty; it’s becoming easier to score own goals.” (Escobar, it may be recalled, was the Colombian footballer who scored an own goal in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and was later shot dead, allegedly as his mistake upset the gambling calculations of powerful drug lords.) The CPI-M too has seen much division over the murder.

Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, much to the dislike of his CPI-M party secretary Vijayan, publicly decried the dastardly murder and went to pay his last respects to his slain former colleague. Last year, June 2, Achuthanandan visited Chandrasekheran’s widow Rema at a time when a crucial assembly by-election was taking place in the capital district.

Achuthanandan had indirectly mentioned that no one is likely to believe that the CPI-M had no link to the murder. Many in the ruling Congress will long rue the lost tactical opportunity offered by this murder case for political one-upmanship.

(Source: IANS)

Himachal mid-day meal workers plan protest

Mid-day meal workers in Himachal Pradesh will stage a protest in Shimla in November over their demands, including the grant of employee status, so that they too can avail of benefits that government employees do, activists said Sunday.

The state and central governments are not serious about the demands of the mid-day meal workers in the country, Jagat Ram, state president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), told IANS.

CITU is affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which backs the demands of the mid-day meal workers.

Jagat Ram said that a two-day conference of state mid-day workers in Mandi, which concluded Sunday, decided that a protest would be staged in the state capital Nov 12.

“They will also stage a protest outside Parliament House in New Delhi Dec 12,” he said.

The state has over 27,000 mid-day workers engaged at in 12,571 primary and middle schools.

Kanta Mahant, president of the Mid-Day Meal Workers Union, said workers are demanding minimum wages of Rs.4,500 per month, besides time-bound promotions and leave benefits.

She said the workers are at present getting a meagre salary of just Rs.1,000 per month.

(Source: IANS)

SFI leader’s death: Bengal rights panel orders compensation, blames police

In a major embarrassment for West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee regime, the state rights panel Monday recommended Rs.10 lakh compensation for the custodial death of SFI leader Sudipto Gupta here in April.

A full bench of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, which met during the day, pointed at the responsibility of police in the April 2 incident, saying such “unfortunate” happenings could have been avoided had the lawkeepers been “more alert”, “careful” and acted in a “professional manner”.

Gupta, a leader of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) students’ arm Students Federation of India (SFI), died under mysterious circumstances after his arrest for taking part in a agitation in central Kolkata.

Left activists have claimed Gupta was “mercilessly beaten” while he and other students who had staged the protests seeking holding of college elections, were being taken in a bus to the Presidency Correctional Home (jail).

However, Chief Minister Banerjee and police have maintained that the 24-year old died after his head hit a lamp post when he was perched on the footboard of the bus.

Despite accepting the administration’s version based on medical evidence and the probe report, the commission pointed out lacunae in the arrangements made by police to take the arrestees to the correctional home.

The panel said police were squarely responsible for the safety and security of the arrestees since they were in their custody.

“The life of a bright young man was cut short in the prime of his life for no fault of his own. The Commission does not think that it is an incident to be trifled with,” said the commission headed by Justice (retd) Ashok Kumar Ganguly.

It has asked the government to carry out its recommendations within two months.

“Sudipta Gupta was sent (to a correctional home) in a bus driven by a driver who did not have a licence for driving a bus,” the panel said, while pointing out police had not arranged for adequate number of buses, and 70 agitators were put in one bus.

The commission also recommended the state government pay Rs.3 lakh for the medical treatment of another student leader Joseph Hossain, who was injured in a police baton charge during the agitation on the same day.

It took note of Hossain’s remarks that police did not cooperate with him after the injury, and that the government did not compensate him for the treatment.

The full bench pointed out that home guard Biswajit Mondal, who the police claimed was assaulted by SFI activists, was admitted to a superspeciality private clinic despite receiving minor injuries.

“Was it a ploy to create an impression all around that home guard Biswajit Mondal was severely assaulted by the SFI activists in a bid to down play the incident of death of Sudipta Gupta in police custody? We do not know the answer,” the statutory body observed.

(Source: IANS)

Narayanan backs state poll panel for moving Supreme Court

West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan Thursday backed the State Election Commission’s decision to move the Supreme Court seeking adequate security for holding the panchayat elections.

“it is a step in the right direction,” Narayanan told media persons here.

“The need now is to find some way to hold the elections. Going to the Supreme Court is one such means. Because we need to hold the elections with the adequate security. One has to ensure there is no violence,” the governor said, a day after the apex court issued notice to the central and West Bengal governments on a petition by the state’s election commission.

The matter has been listed for hearing Friday.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee‘s government has been locked in a legal tussle with the SEC on various issues related to the panchayat polls for the past couple of months.

Narayanan’s comments received the thumbs up from opposition parties Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“He has said he right thing. The commission wants to hold elections. But the Mamata Banerjee government does not. So, the panel moved the Supreme Court,” said CPI-M state secretariat member Rabin Deb.

“The SEC has done nothing wrong by moving the Supreme Court. It has every right to move the highest judiciary. The governor is absolutely right,” said state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya.

State BJP chief Rahul Sinha said: “The governor has said what is true. All people in West Bengal share the same feeling. There was no alternative before the SEC”.

(Source: IANS)

Kamduni’s women want probe on Mamata’s allegations

Two women of this sleepy village, who led the anti-gangrape protests in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee only to be dubbed Maoists and CPI-M activists by the angry leader, Wednesday sought a probe by the CBI to clear their names.

“Never in my life have we carried the flags of any political party. Neither have any member of our family. We only protested against the heinous crime done on a girl we have known from close for years. Let there be a CBI probe to determine whether we are Maoists or CPI-M,” said a sobbing Mousumi Kayal, a housewife from the now famous village in North 24 Parganas district.

Mousumi and Tumpa Kayal had led the protests Monday when Banerjee visited the residence of the second-year college student abducted, gang-raped and killed by a group of youths June 7 when she was returning home after appearing in an examination.

After Tumpa and Mousumi asked Banerjee to talk to them and shouted slogans about the lack of security, the chief minister lost her cool and screamed at them to “shut up”.

She also branded the perpetrators of the crime as well as the protesters as “CPI-M people”. Continuing in the same vein at a public rally in the district Wednesday, Banerjee called the protestors “Maoists”.

“Does that mean whoever raises his or her voice of protest will be branded a Maoist,” wondered Mousumi.

Tumpa, who bore the brunt of Banerjee’s fury two days back, said: “How could she label us like this? The victim was my classmate. I was born in this village. Only some months back I was married off. But I came back to this village on ‘jamai shashthi’ (son-in-law day) to sympathise with my friend’s family.”

Tumpa said she had the support of the villagers and her in-laws in her protest.

“I have dared to raise my voice, as the villagers are with us. If they beat a retreat, I will lose my spirit,” she said.

Mousumi is dazed at Banerjee’s outburst, but still retains her courage to speak out. “If such atrocities are committed against women in future, then too I shall protest.”
(Source: IANS)

Stop victimisation of Muslim youths

Several activists and political leaders, including CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, has demanded that “the harassment and victimisation of innocent Muslims youths” by security agencies in the name of fighting terror be stopped.

In a convention on “Politics of Terror”, organised here by representatives of Left and other political parties, they asked the government to stop the arrests of “innocent Muslim youths”.

Various universities lecturers, Political leaders, human rights activists, lawyers and professors has been participated in the convention.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad said: “The situation is deteriorating day by day for the Muslim community.” Police is targeting Bihar’s Muslim youths, he said.

“After Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh, Bihar’s Muslim youths are on the hit-list of police and central agencies,” Yadav alleged at the meet.

Districts of Bihar like Sitamarhi, Madhubani and recently Darbhanga have witnessed such arrests.

Darbhanga’s native Fasih Mahmood, an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative was arrested by Delhi Police on charges of a 2010 bombing incident at Jama Masjid here.

The 35-year-old engineer from Bihar, employed in Saudi Arabia, was arrested at Delhi airport Oct 22 when he arrived after his deportation from that country.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Karat said: “The agencies are misusing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The Muslim youths are their soft target. Those youths are arrested on allegations of terror (and are) very easily booked under this law.”

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan, CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and independent member of the Rajya Sabha Mohd. Adeeb also condemned the arrests of Muslim youths.

They also said, “Several Muslim youths have been acquitted by the courts in the past few years after they were found innocent of terror charges.”

Court refuses to quash FIR against CPI-M leader

The Kerala High Court on Thursday refused to quash a FIR registered against a CPI-M leader for a speech justifying murders, and asked police to go ahead with its investigation.

Dismissing M.M. Mani’s petition, Justice S.S. Sateeshachandran condemned his speech and said his comments had shocked the society.

He observed that speeches like these could kill democracy. The court also saw a video of the speech before coming out with the verdict.

A former Idukki district secretary of the CPI-M, Mani had at a May 25 public meeting claimed that his party had killed four critics. Police immediately slapped a case against him.

The CPI-M sacked Mani from his post. Mani urged the high court to quash the FIR.
Reacting to the court ruling, CPI-M leader and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan came down on Mani.

“The direction by the court is not wrong. It was the right direction by the court,” he said.

CPI-M flays apex court on ban on roadside meetings

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday described as “highly unfortunate” the Supreme Court decision to uphold a ban on public meetings and rallies on roadsides in Kerala.

“It is highly unfortunate the Supreme Court had upheld the judgement of the Kerala High Court,” the CPI-M said in a statement here, a day after the Supreme Court ruling.

“It has been the common practice for political parties and other public organisations to hold meetings on the side of the road. Since Kerala is a continuous urban-rural stretch, holding of the road side meetings is the most convenient way to reach out to the people,” it said.

“This right of assembly is now being taken away by a judicial fiat based on a farfetched interpretation of the constitution that the right of movement is superior to the right of assembly.

“This may be extended to the whole country,” the statement said.

“This order comes in the wake of other restrictions imposed by the judiciary on holding of demonstrations, rallies and general strikes,” the CPI-M said.

“This does not augur well for a democracy. The state legislatures and parliament should adopt legislation protecting the right to assemble, to hold public meetings and demonstrations.”