Police identify Left rebel's murderers
Thiruvananthapuram Kerala police claimed to have identified the killers who were behind the slaying of rebel Left party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan, a top police official said in Kozhikode Wednesday.
Addressing the media, state's Director General of Police, Jacob Punnoose, said the police have zeroed in on the killers and were in the process of determining on whose behalf the killing was carried out.
The state government and security officials were under pressure to identify the killers of the high-profile rebel leader who had invited the enmity of the Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) ever since he quit the party to float his own Revolutionary Marxist Party.
However, Punnoose said it was too early to disclose details to the media, and that the names of those in custody were also being held back for security reasons. He said he would also not prefer to use the term "political murder" for the slaying.
On the sidelines of the controversy over the killing of Chandrasekharan, strong political undercurrents are also at play within the CPM. In the latest development, former chief minister and CPM veteran V.S. Achuthanandan gave a clean chit to Chandrasekharan, countering his party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan's remark that the rebel leader was a "turncoat".
Three more held
Achuthanandan's statement is seen as the strongest counter to his state secretary in recent times, in what political observers see as an ongoing cold war between the two CPM veterans.
The apparent differences between the two CPM veterans come at a time when the party itself is being blamed for Chandrasekharan's death, and the CPM is facing up to the Neyyattinkara by-election, which was necessitated when another of its leaders, R. Selvaraj, quit the party and sought re-election from the same constituency under the United Democratic Front.
Achuthanandan said in Kozhikode yesterday that the comment by Pinarayi Vijayan about Chandrasekharan was his personal opinion and not that of the party.
Meanwhile, the special investigation team looking into the murder of Chandrasekharan has taken three more suspects into custody. The trail of the investigation has also led police to some calls being made from prison to the killers.