Kerala HC directs CBI to investigate Congress worker’s killing in Kannur
Bengaluru: The Kerala high court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the murder of Youth Congress worker Muhammad Shuhaib, in a setback for the state government, which had opposed it.
Shuhaib was murdered on 15 February in Kannur, allegedly by workers of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist). His parents had moved the court seeking a CBI inquiry, alleging the state police probe was an “eye-wash”. Culprits were escaping the law, they claimed.
According to a report on The Hindu website, the judge said lowly workers were being used as pawns in Kannur’s political violence. According to other regional media websites, the judge asked if the probe so far unearthed any larger conspiracy in any of the political murders in Kannur.
According to the police, on 15 February, Shuhaib was knifed by five people, leaving him with 42 wounds. All 11 people taken into custody are CPM activists.
Justice Kamal Pasha, who transferred the case to CBI, rejected the government’s claim that only a division bench had the authority to do so, a report in Malayala Manorama website said.
Just hours before the order, CPM leader and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had refused to give the case to CBI in the state assembly. It is not clear if the government will file an appeal.
The court criticism of state police has energized the opposition. Speaking to television reporters, K. Sudhakaran, Congress leader who was close to Shuhaib and have been spearheading protests, said he hopes the CBI would “bring the killers and their handlers to the book.”
According to the court petition, main accused Akash had no enmity against Shuhaib and the killing was motivated by the top CPM leadership. But the police was going easy on Akash since he is close to senior CPM leaders, it had said. The petition also alleged attempts to help the accused and lethargy in finding the assault weapons.
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