The Murder of T. P. Chandrasekharan

Appukuttan Vallikunnu

T. P. Chandrasekharan left the CPI M on account of its right opportunist politics. He went on to form the Revolutionary Marxist Party. He was hacked to death on May 4, 2012 at the behest of the CPI M. After his murder the veteran CPI M leader V.S. Achuthanandan had initially maintained that Chandrashekaran was a brave communist. The party secretary in Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, close to the party general secretary Prakash Karat, dubbed T.P. ‘a traitor’. Recently a special court in Kozhikode found 15 people guilty in the case. Apart from the seven-member gang who carried out the murder eight CPI(M) leaders have been convicted in the case.

Communists will be able to recognise whether their steps are taking them backward or forward, towards right or wrong, only if they read history truthfully. In that sense, the CPM General Secretary, Prakash Karat, who inaugurated the concluding session of the Kerala Raksha March, at the historical venue of the Kozhikode beach, disappointed the masses.1 He only made a partial reference to the 20th Party Congress that had taken place in Kozhikode 2 years ago. All he was said was that the March had started the movement to implement the party’s decision to bring down the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha elections.

That movement of the CPM lasted only for a month. T. P. Chandrasekharan’s murder threw the party into a deep crisis and triggered a huge backlash. The Central Committee that met in July 2012 explained the situation in the following way:

“The political manifesto and the ideological resolution that was accepted by the party congress, the huge mass participation and the functioning of the party and its influence, paved for a huge upsurge in the State. It was at such a time that T. P. Chandrashekaran was murdered on May 4th in Kozhikode. This gruesome murder angered everyone. Accusing our party and our leaders of murder, they created a flood of propaganda against us.”

Reiterating that they did not have any role in the murder, the Central Committee continued: “The party’s policies do not advocate the physical annihilation of political opponents, instead, we seek to fight our opponents by challenging them politically and ideologically. However, if it comes to be known that anyone in the party has any kind of role in this murder, stringent action will be taken against them. The Party will also conduct an investigation towards this.”

Prakash Karat later revealed that he had received the report of the investigation conducted by the party. He also said that the report was not being released, as the legal procedures regarding the case were yet to be over. Now, not only has the court verdict come out, but three CPM leaders from the Kannur-Kozhikode districts and two party workers are also undergoing life imprisonment in the TP murder case. In the concluding ceremony of the Kerala Raksha March, which took place just four days after the court verdict, Kerala waited to hear what the General Secretary of CPM had to say about it all. But Karat maintained a strict silence about the issue and returned without saying anything.

It is said that silence is a sign of consent. Karat knows very clearly what the court has said in its verdict. “The T P murder was pre-planned and is blood chilling and monstrous. The aim of the murder is not personal vendetta. The way the murder was conducted is not only inhuman but is also brutal and savage. It not only shocks the conscience of the court, but it also shocks the conscience of the entire society.”

In contrast to what the CPM has been alleging, the court has discovered that the reason for the murder was not personal vendetta. It also explained why T P became the tragic victim of political revenge: “T P was the leader of an upcoming political party. The reason for the murder was political hostility. The hired killers were mere tools in the hands of those who had a political rivalry against the murdered T P.” When the CPM leader, K. K. Krishnan declared in a speech that Chandrasekharan’s head would scatter like a coconut flower, it was clear that political vendetta had crossed all limits, the court pointed out.

When the conspiracy of the CPM leadership was clearly proven, life imprisonment was awarded to leaders like P K Kunjanathan who is an Area Committee member of Panoor in Kannur district, K C Ramachandran who is also from Kozhikode like T P and who is the CPM local committee member of Kunnumkara, and Trouser Manoj, who is the CPM Branch Secretary of Thoovakunnu in Kannur. Two others were given three years of rigorous imprisonment for destroying evidence and for being accomplices in the murder.

Forget that they are not bringing out the CPM’s investigative report on this issue. It is not the party’s constitution and resolutions but court verdicts, the rule of law and the constitution, which is the last word in a democracy. However, those who say that they will reveal the party’s decision as and when they wish are people without any integrity. They are ready to discard and degrade the basic structures of democracy, just for the sake of the party. The common people cannot trust them anymore, even in the name of the old martyrs and leaders.

If the court has established the role of the party workers in the murder, as a person who is bound to the rule of law and as the general secretary of the party, it is imperative that the party and its secretary explain why they have not taken action against those involved. Moreover, if some leaders including some Politbureau members visited the murderers in jail, it is absolutely necessary that the CPM explain the party’s relationship to them. Instead, the general secretary is proving that he is incapable of following even the assurances and decisions of a very dishonest Central Committee.

It was the books of E. M. S. Namboodiripad, who is one of the founding members of the communist party and the study classes of the British Marxist historian, Victor Kiernan at Edinburgh University, which made Prakash Karat a communist. He himself has talked about this. However, Karat should realise that these talented communists gave the utmost importance to truth. EMS, when as a Chief Minister, was warned that he would be punished for conducting his oath-taking ceremony in an unconstitutional way, welcomed the punishment by saying that he had already taken his oath upon the Communist Manifesto.

Even the most crucial decisions of the party are subject to change and reform. However, the Communist Manifesto is a text that is respected the world over, and the communists accept it without even changing a single word in it. Its essence is the communists’ relationship to truth and their commitment to it. Communists are those who uphold the truth without hiding their opinions and words. If a party that calls itself communist and its general secretary are ready to hide this fundamental truth, then the common people will decide what they should think about such a party.

At the venue of the concluding ceremony of the Kerala Raksha March in Kozhikode beach, we saw the leaders eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. Two years ago, a Coliseum model stage was erected at the same venue. This was made after the Coliseum of Rome, where the imperial Romans watched the slaves and workers fighting to their death, even as they ate, drank and made merry. People who are aware of this history will wonder how a party like CPM could make this a model for their concluding ceremony. However, when T P was killed in such a gruesome manner within a month, the logic of the whole thing became very clear.

New evidence has come out, which proves that the leader who killed T P was wandering around the venue of the party congress representatives’ meeting at that time. The telephone records are with the police authorities, investigating the case. It was in the days after the party congress that the decision to carry out the murder was taken. It is clear in the court verdict too. However, Prakash Karat was seen on stage, with an undying smile. He must have realised that the contribution to the Lok Sabha elections from Kerala would go beyond his expectations.

In great contrast, when P. C. Joshi, the first general secretary of the undivided communist party, visited Kerala in a similarly crisis-ridden situation, he went back from Kerala, with swollen eyes and a face wet with tears. That was when he visited the 18 communists in Kannur jail, sentenced to life imprisonment and the four who were to be sentenced to death the next day in the Kayyur case.

It was the words of the very young Aboobacker, which greatly touched Joshi: “Comrade my Umma (mother) is old, I am the eldest. My brothers are young. You must comfort my mother. Give her courage. Even if we can courageously climb the scaffold, there is no one to look after them.”

Struggling hard to control his tears, the general secretary of the communist party assured them: “We will look after all your families. Like our own. All the 17, 000 members of the party will be the children of your families.”

At the other end of history, on the Kozhikode beach, in the costly and beautifully decorated stage, only the CPM general secretary would be able to tell us, who he was thinking about. Was he remembering the face of that brave communist who with a silent courage embraced martyrdom even as five swords were aimed at his head? (Or should we call him kulamkuthi,2 the traitor of the clan?). Who knows what was running through the mind of the party secretary.

However, Karat knows that like the Aboobacker of the Kayyur case, T P Chandrasekharan also has a mother who is past her 80s and a family whose tears will never ever dry. The leaders of Karat’s party are strutting about spreading rumours about this martyr and insulting him. They visit the prison to give courage to the murderers. They show that the big party that has 3,70,818 members is with the culprits whom the court had called brutal and barbaric. They are comforting them saying that they will get them released by going for another case or by pardoning them when they come to power.

Prakash Karat can justify himself by saying that he is not in a situation where he can shed tears of blood, like P. C. Joshi did, as he has to silently permit all this. But the silence that he has adopted, the reluctance that he has shown to face the truth, all of this has conveniently created an opportunity for the party to help the murderers. This is just a silent permission to shroud truth in white, in the name of the party.

In the first stage of the investigation, the CPM took the stand that the police was acting in accordance to a government script and that this was the reason why they had slapped cases against 76 innocent people. However, today when there is a move to constitute a CBI inquiry to bring out the higher-level conspirators in this case, suddenly the investigation done by the State police, the court verdict and the sentence have all become acceptable to the party. And this is followed by the same old accusation that the State government is going against legalities to call for a CBI enquiry so as to destroy the party. They also argue that it is illegal for a second agency to reinvestigate a case in which the trial has been conducted and the verdict was given. But in the Best Bakery Case, where the trial was conducted and the accused were acquitted, Karat had supported a further investigation by the CBI and the verdict of the court. The same people have changed their stand now.

It is not surprising that with the help of money and organisational power they are trying to stab truth to death. But however big a party, they will soon realise that the people and the people’s power is much higher than them. Even if late, they will realise this. This is a lesson that history teaches.

Even if you keep doing a Shayana Pradhakshinam3 around all the shrines of all the martyrs around the world, even if you wash your hands with all the perfumes of Arabia, you will not be able to wash away the stains on the hands of the party leaders. This won’t happen as long as the party does not disown all those who have been part of the conspiracy to murder T P.


V.S. Achuthanandan and the Party

Men write their own history but it seldom conforms to their wish, according to Marx. They cannot choose the circumstances for the purpose; history is written based on the circumstances that prevail. Karat, Pinarayi Vijayan and VS should not forget this historical fact in their emotional excitement.

According to Hegel, all great world historic facts and personages appear, so to speak twice. Marx explained this even further. The first time as tragedy, the second as farce. If we go by Marx’s celebrated article, the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, the CPI (M) now suffers from a second coming.

Kerala CPI (M) and its revolutionary leader VS Achuthanandan claim the historical legacy of the martyrdom of Punnapra-Vaylar, Kayyur and other places. PC Joshi and other historic personalities had developed the Communist movement, by personally challenging the Meerut conspiracy charges and gallows of the British. But leaders like Prakash Karat, General Secretary of CPI(M), strike a comic image when they claim the legacy of these great heroes in the election campaign for the sixteenth Lok Sabha.

In fact, this second coming of the absurd drama alluded to by Marx started with the CPI(M) trying to thrust martyrdom on to the murderers and conspirators engaged by it in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case. In the case of the Meerut conspiracy, the communist defendants faced the trial by claiming it as a legitimate part of their anti-imperialist struggle for national independence. One of the defendants in Meerat Conspiracy case, Shoukat Usmani, had even made it a part of the political struggle, as he contested in the British elections, while serving a term in the Indian prison.

CPI (M) says, the UDF Government and its police had purposely implicated its party leaders and workers in the TP murder. Despite such charges, the LDF members of Kerala state assembly voted for the UDF candidate in the Presidential election, despite objections from other Left parties. Police enquiries on the top level involvements in the conspiracy for TP murder were blocked at this point of time. And, this was yet another part of the absurd drama of compromises, struck at the highest political levels. In the recent Rajya Sabha polls also, the surplus CPI(M) votes in Bengal were generously given to the Congress candidates.

The murder of TP Chandrasekhar and his great martyrdom could not get pushed in to oblivion, despite such manoeuverings and the scandal mongering resorted to by CPI(M) leaders. And, as prophesied by Marx, the tradition of the dead T P Chandrasekharan weighs like a nightmare on the brains of CPM leaders, and continues to haunt them. Finally, with the help of Prakash Karat they have pushed VS onto the arena with a new set of costumes.

For the sake of CPI (M) and its General Secretary, VS has now disowned the martyr’s family, including KK Rama, the wife of Chandrasekhar and the Revolutionary Marxist Party which was founded by him. Kerala society had reacted to this on the lines attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche : ‘I am disturbed not because you lied to me: I am disturbed because you are not reliable any more”.

The General Secretary of CPI (M) has now revealed certain secrets that had escaped my attention despite my more than three decades of working membership in that party. The General Secretary and the Polit Bureau of the party have a secret enquiry machinery that is not shared by others within the party. History has revealed that Hitler, Mussolini and even the Soviet Party had maintained such institutions.

From among the half a dozen leaders and workers of CPI (M) who were declared guilty in the TP murder case and convicted by the court, one KC Ramachandran is now identified by that party as the real culprit. According to the party this local committee member had conspired to murder TP Chandrasekhar to settle some personal scores. Karat, the Politburo and even VS seem to believe this story. But the Special Additional Sessions Judge, Kozhikkodu after a lengthy trial in his 420 pages judgment categorically states as follows:

“It is true that the deceased (T P Chandrasekharan) was a public figure in the locality. He was the leader of an emerging political party. Motive of the murder was political animosity. Accused 1 to 7 were tools in the hands of the persons who entertained political enmity towards the deceased.... The murder in this case was cold blooded, pre-planned and brutal. The motive of the crime was not any personal enmity. The manner in which the murder was committed reveals extreme depravity. The action of accused not only was inhuman but ruthless and barbaric. It shocks not only the judicial conscience but the collective conscience of the society.”

Twelve persons were declared guilty by the trial court, after examining thousands of phone calls and listening to the evidence provided by around 200 witnesses during the trial. Karat and the CC had assured that no party member if found guilty will continue as party member. Thanks to his secret investigation agency, Karat is now convinced that, others who were found guilty by the court are innocent. Now, this writer understands that the CPI(M) constitution provides for declaring as innocents even those found guilty by a court of law in the country! (And, Prakash and his party should know that according to the Indian Penal Code, the hiding of evidence and avoiding court appearances in murder cases are criminal offences.)

Apart from those already convicted by the court there are others who were involved in the conspiracy that was well coordinated by the two district committees of the party. KK Rama has demanded a CBI enquiry into this. VS in his capacity as the leader of opposition had also asked the Chief

Minister to expedite this in a credible manner and book the big sharks behind the crime, as demanded by Mullappalli Ramachandran, the minister of state for home at the Centre and an anti-CPI(M) diehard.

Karat had disagreed with this demand of VS. During his Kerala march Pinarayi Vijayan the State secretary of the CPI (M) had repeatedly denounced the stand taken by VS. Now all the three, Karat, Pinarayi Vijayan and VS talk the same language. Statements and responses by all the three are identical. Pinarayi Vijayan has now declared that VS will be given protection. Let us hope that this protection will be different from what was given to TP, encircling by hired criminals swords in their hands.

Marx has further stated: “Men make their own history but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” Karat, Pinarayi Vijayan and VS should not forget this historical fact in their emotional excitement.

When police intelligence was repeatedly reporting on the conspiracy to murder Chandrasekharan and the news about a criminal squad crossing over the Kannur border in 2009, V S was Chief Minister and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan his home minister. Intelligence Chief, DGP and the Home Minister were informed about this. They were informed also that CPI(M) men were behind all these. What did the home minister do even though he knew it was in violation of party policy? How did this information escape the attention of the head of the government, the Chief Minister?

Now VS holds the UDF Government, which came to power in May 2011, to be responsible for the TP murder. Now everybody, including the courts, accept that CPI(M) and their henchmen were responsible for the murder. But VS acquits them of the crime. VS, the revolutionary has changed his tune on the martyrdom of a courageous communist.

All these are reminiscent of a story reported from an infamous concentration camp of the Nazis: An old man, well over eighty, is brought in as a new prisoner, beaten up and limbs all tied up. From among the co-prisoners, a young man was ordered to dig a grave to bury the old man, alive. The young one refused. He was asked why not? He says, “I am a communist, hence could not help bury a living man.” They told him, the old man is also a communist and he has to fall in line. He did not oblige their repeated orders and did not heed to their threats. The young man was beaten like anything then. Then, they freed the old man and asked him to dig the grave. The old man slowly got up and started digging.... to bury the young communist still alive.


The Judgment upholds the complicity of the CPM

According to the Judgment in the T P murder case dated 28th January 2014 Sri. R. Narayana Pisharadi Spl. Addl. Sessions Judge (Maradu cases) Kozhikodu, Kerala, the following is the sum and substance of the inhuman ruthless, barbaric murder of T P Chandrasekharan, Leader of the Revolutionary Marxist Communist Party, and the shocking complicity of CPI(M) to satisfy its political ego and vengeance.

“T P Chandrasekharan was a worker of ‘Balasangham’ the child unit of CPI(M). Later he became the District President of Students Federation of India (S F I), the students unit of CPI(M). He had also adorned the posts of the District Secretary, State Joint Secretary and Member of Central Committee of SFI. He became a Branch Secretary of CPI(M) at the age of 18. He had worked as the District President, District Secretary and member of the State Secretariat of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth organisation of CPI(M). He was the Secretary of the Eramala unit of the CPI(M). Thereafter, he became a member of the Onchiyam Area Committee of CPI(M). He left CPI(M) on account of differences on ideological issues and formed R M P in June, 2008. (The defence would contend that he did not leave CPI(M) but he was expelled from that party.) The new party had its followers who had earlier worked in the CPI(M). T P Chandrasekharan was the Area Secretary of R M P. He contested the Lok Sabha Election in the year 2009 from Vatakara constituency. P Sathidevi was the candidate of CPI(M) and Mullappally Ramachandran was the candidate of Congress Party in the election in that constituency. As R M P had no approved symbol, T P Chandrasekharan had contested the election as an independent candidate. He obtained more than 20000 votes in that election. It is only probable that persons who were earlier workers of CPI(M) had cast their vote for him. Whatever it be, the candidate of CPI(M) was defeated and the Congress candidate was elected from Vadakara constituency. The prosecution contends that it was for the first time in history that the left-oriented group lost the Vadakara constituency in the Lok Sabha elections. It is axiomatic that defeat of the CPI(M) candidate in the election would have sown grudge against T P Chandrasekharan in the minds of the leaders of that party because his presence in the election as a candidate was a major factor which might have contributed to the defeat of their candidate. P Mohanan (A 14) was the Chief Election Agent of the CPI(M) candidate in that election in Vatakara constituency. P Mohanan (A 14) is a local leader of CPI(M) . On the eve of the election day, P Mohanan (A 14) was attacked allegedly by RMP workers.

Subsequently, clashes occurred at various places between the workers of RMP and CPI(M) . T P. Balan, a worker of RMP was attacked and attempt was made to murder him. K C Ramachandran (A8) was an accused in that case. The formation of the new party by T P Chandrasekharan had its echoes in the Panchayat election also. In the Panchayat election held in the year 2010, CPI(M) lost power in the Onchiyam Panchayat and R M P gained power. The CPI(M) also suffered major setback in Azhiyoor, Eramala and Chorode Panchayats. This enraged and infuriated the local leaders of CPI(M). Their animosity towards T P Chandrasekharan became acute. The prosecution had alleged that it led to the conspiracy to murder him and ultimately, to the execution of the plan to annihilate him.”

Death of T P Chandrasekharan – Homicidal Death

“ ‘Homicide’, as derived from Latin, literally means the act of killing a human being. There cannot be any dispute with regard to the fact that T P Chandrasekharan died in a murderous assault with sharp – edged weapons and his death was homicidal.

Dr. Sujith Sreenivas (PW136), Assistant Professor and Assistant Police Surgeon in the Forensic Medicine Department of the Medicine Department of the Medical College, Kozhikode had conducted autopsy on the body of T P Chandrasekharan. Ext.P179 is the post-mortem certificate issued by him. According to PW136, the deceased died of multiple incised chop injuries sustained to the head and face cutting the skull and brain, transecting the frontal lobe.

Post-mortem certificate discloses 27 ante-mortem injuries recorded by PW136. There is no need to extract here the description of all these injuries. Suffice it to note that they include:

(1) incised wound 10 cm long on the back of head sharply cutting the underlying skull

(2) multiple transverse and oblique incised wounds communicating with each other on the left side of head over an area of 20 x 10 cm exposing sharply cut underlying brain

(3) multiple transverse and oblique incised wounds on the front of face extending to the left side of lower jaw and left ear with marginal side cuts over and area of 20 x 15 cm cutting the nose and bones of the face sharply with fragmentation and depression of bone fragments

(4) multiple criss cross sharply cut superficial incised wounds and linear skin contusion on the left side of face over the cheek and lower jaw

(5) incised wound 10 cm long obliquely placed on the left side of face.

(6) incised wound 5 x 1 cm on the left side of forehead cutting underlying frontal bone

(7) incised wound 13 x 2 cm transversely placed on the top of head cutting the underlying skull and dura-mater transversely over the vault. Injury No. 14 is described in the post-mortem certificate as follows:

On reflecting the scalp, underneath the external injury, there was a bony defect 19 x 3-4cm over temporo maxillary region with sharply cut margins and fragmentation and depression of adjacent bone on the left side of head extending up to the right side of frontal bone obliquely 7 cm above the root of nose. The indriven bone fragments pierced the dura-mater and frontal lobes of brain. From the upper margin of the bony defect a fissured fracture 6 cm long extended transversely along the frontal bone to the right side of head, another fissured fracture 8 cm long extended to the vault of skull. The back end of the skull defect on the left side of head extended along the mastoid process cutting it sharply transversely up to the left side of back of head. Sharply cut bone fragments were found avulsed on the left side of back of head. A fissured fracture 6 cm long extended from the bony defect on the left side of head to left parietal prominence. There was a sharp cut on the left side of back of skull transversely placed 10 cm long involving both tables of skull underlying the external injury 2 (a). A sharply cut avulsed bone segment transversely placed 9 x 3 cm seen on the back of head involving the occipital bone underneath injury no. 1, through which incised duramater and cut brain was protruding. The left side and midline of anterior cranial fossa was fractured and fragmented with peri orbital fat of left side protruding into the cranial cavity. The left side of middle cranial fossa was found shattered with a sharp cut along the entire length of left petrous temporal bone. The left mastoid process was sharply cut with fractures extending to the left side of posterior cranial fossa. The left frontal lobe of the brain showed an incised cut 9 cm involving the entire thickness (5 cm) separating the entire frontal lobe from the cerebral hemisphere with the cut passing through the anterior horn of left lateral ventricle. Thin sub arachnoid haemorrhage seen over both the cerebral hemisphere. The junction of mid brain and pons was lacerated with partial separation of upper brain stem. The left basi frontal, basi temporal region and outer aspect of left frontal lobe was lacerated and contused. The left occipital lobe was found cut sharply underneath the avulsed occipital bone with contusion of left basi occipital region. The cut on the left cerebral frontal lobe was directed medially and backwards.”

Death of T P Chandrasekharan – Definite Case of Murder

“The defence has not disputed the fact that the act of causing the death of T P Chandrasekharan, whoever has done it, amounts to murder punishable under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. It is not an act of a lesser degree of causing death of a person. The injuries noted in the post-mortem certificate on the head and the face of the victim indicate that it was an act of intentionally causing the death of a person. There is no need to analyse the other evidence in the case to come to a definite conclusion that the act of causing death of T P Chandrasekharan was murder punishable under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

According to the prosecution, accused 1 to 7 had reached the scene of the incident in a car driven by the first accused. It is alleged that T P Chandrasekharan was coming from the opposite direction riding a motor cycle and that the first accused rammed the car on to the motor cycle and when T P Chandrasekharan fell down on the road, accused 2 to 7 jumped out of the car and accused 3 to 7 attacked him with swords and hacked him to death. It is also alleged that the second accused was carrying a country made bomb with him and that the third accused got it from him and caused an explosion by throwing it on the road to terrify the persons who reached there.

PW1 to PW3 are the eye-witnesses examined by the prosecution to prove the murder. They have given evidence regarding the hideous incident claimed to have seen by them.”

Testimony of Praseed (PW1)

“A summary of the evidence of PW 1 Praseed (in examination-in- chief) regarding the incident can be stated as follows: The incident took place at about 22.15 hours on 04.05.2012 on the side of Kainatti-Kuttiadi road at the place Vallikkad in Kozhikkodu District. The anniversary of Vallikkad Brothers Club was scheduled to be held on 05-05-2012. At about 20.00 hours on 04.05.2012, PW 1 began to decorate the premises of the club and the local area. Ramachandran (CW2), Ramesan (PW2) and Maneesh Kumar (PW3) were with him. At about 22.00 hours, they reached Varisakkuni Junction to tie a banner there. PW1 then wanted to go home and he proceeded to walk towards his house in the locality. When he reached some distance, a light colored Innova Car came from behind him, took a turn there and proceeded towards Orkatteri side along the wrong side of the road. There was something written in Arabic language on the front and the rear glasses of the car. PW1 saw the driver of the car. A fat and bald person was sitting inside the car on the left side of the driver. Suddenly,

PW1 heard from behind the sound of a collision of vehicles. He looked back. He saw the Innova car being stopped near Rachana Mill. He saw Maneesh Kumar (PW3) and Ramachandran (CW2) running to that place. He ran behind them. When he reached there, he saw a motor cycle and a person lying on the road. Suddenly, three persons opened the door of the car and jumped out of it. There were swords in their hands. They repeatedly struck the person lying on the road with the swords. Then, three other persons alighted from the car. Two of them had swords in their hands. One of them, was holding a round object in his hand. The two persons, who were holding the swords, struck on the face and the head of the person lying on the road with the swords. When PW1 and others took a few steps forward with a view to save the victim, the person holding the round object in his hand threatened them to run away or else they would be killed. Then the other person who was striking the victim with swords, got the round object and threw it towards them. It fell on the road and exploded with terrific sound. Then they knew that it was a bomb. Thereafter, the assailants injured. It was a horrifying scene. They did not get any vehicle to take the injured to the hospital. Within half an hour, the Sub Inspector and four policemen reached there. The Sub Inspector put two policemen on guard duty there. The remaining persons in the police party took the injured to the hospital in the police jeep.”

Conspiracy to Murder – Evidence and Reliability

“Before entering into a discussion of the direct evidence adduced by the prosecution regarding the hatching of conspiracy by the accused to murder T P Chandrasekharan, one significant circumstance in the case needs mention. Accused 1 to 7 were utter strangers to T P Chandrasekharan. He was not known to them. They had no political or personal enmity towards him. They have no case that they are followers of CPI(M). They have no case in the statement filed under section 313 Cr.P.C that they belong to CPI(M) or that they are sympathizers of CPI(M). Without any rhyme or reason, they fatally assaulted T P Chandrasekharan. Then, the inference which is possible is that they were hired as assassins of T P Chandrasekharan. No other inference is possible. T P Chandrasekharan had nothing to do with accused 1 to 7 before his death. It must have been, therefore, execution of a plan or design that was done by accused 1 to 7. This is a strong circumstances in support of the existence of a conspiracy to murder T P Chandrasekharan.”

“In my view, the three tests mentioned in the aforesaid decision have to be applied in deciding the sentence to be imposed on accused 1 to 7 for the offence of murder. The crime is important (cruel, diabolic, brutal, depraved and gruesome) but the criminal is also important.

The murder in this case was cold-blooded, pre-planned and brutal. The motive of the crime was not any personal enmity. The manner in which the murder was committed reveals extreme depravity. The action of accused not only was inhuman but ruthless and barbaric. It shocks not only the judicial conscience but the collective consciences of the society. In this case, the crime test has been satisfied fully against the accused 3 to 7 who actually hacked the deceased to death. At the same time, the accused 1 and 2 had not directly participated in killing the deceased. The crime test is not satisfied against them.

It is true that the deceased was a public figure in the locality. He was the leader of an emerging political party. Motive of the murder was political animosity. Accused 1 to 7 were tools in the hands of the persons who entertained political enmity towards the deceased.

In the view of the above, sentence of life imprisonment shall be awarded for the accused who committed the offences punishable under sections 302 I P C and 120B read with 302 I P C and 109 read with 302 I P C. It would also be proper to impose an amount of Rs.50000/- each as fine on the accused 1 to 7 and Rs. 100000/- each as fine on the accused 8, 11, 13 and 18. Imposing a sentence of rigorous imprisonment for a period of three years and a fine of Rs.200000/- on accused no. 31 for the offence punishable under section 201 I P C would meet the ends of justice in the case.”


Hard message to the CPM leadership

The judgment in the T P murder case is a strong indictment and hard message to the All-India leadership of the CPM. The party had declared that it is not involved in the murder of Chandrasekharan and had strongly condemned it. The party did not believe in the elimination of political opponents. “Firm action will be taken if anybody is found to be involved from the party and any ‘wrong’ trend if it exists in the party will be put down firmly.” But the judicial verdict is shocking.

Sri. R Narayana Pisharadi who heard this gruesome murder case for more than a year has justifiably quoted Mahatma Gandhi “intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” He has further quoted from two judgments of the honourable High Court of Kerala both observing in the order against two prominent CPM Leaders P Jayarajan and M M Mani against their appeal as accused in two separate murder cases.

In Jayarajan Vs State of Kerala it said:

“The right to dissent and protest, are important to a democratic society. Maintenance of opportunity for free political thought and expressions, is a fundamental principle of constitutional Government. Very often in a dialectic that ideas have with life and experience, great principles have been evolved. But, it means not that such ideas or philosophies could be enforced with muscle and might. Violence or vandalism cannot do service for political beliefs” (1988 (2) K L T 536).

M M Mani Vs State of Kerala: “Our constitution envisages that every citizen shall have the right to engage in political expression and association. Exercise of the basic freedom of political expression and association is through the media of political associations. Any interference with freedom of a party or its party men, whether it be by an individual or any other party or State, that too by resorting to violence negating the rule of law, is an interference with the freedom of political expression and association guaranteed by the Constitution. Right to dissent guaranteed in a republic governed by democracy if met with brutal force, and the dissenter is annihilated. Whether it be as a retaliatory measure on the attacks made on one’s party men or group, it will sound the death knell of democracy.” ( 2012 (3) K L T 118: I L R 2012 (3) Kerala 204: 2012 (3) K L J 191.) The present case is an example.

So, the T P murder case is a death knell of democracy in Kerala. The other murder cases followed where the CPM are conspirators and executors, it smacks of fascism not people’s democracy.

The author is a journalist, he was earlier a member of the Kerala State Committee of the CPI (M) and Associate Editor, Desabhimani, the daily paper of the party in Malayalam.


1. Raksha – Protection

2. Pinarayi Vijayan had used this term kulamkuthi to describe T P.

3. A Hindu ritual of rolling around the temple in a lying position.

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