CPM leader’s murder case: Kerala HC acquits 13 Swayamsevaks, slams prosecution’s attempts to define a scripted story

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Tuesday set aside the lower court’s order and acquitted all accused who are all RSS workers in the case of allegedly murdering CPI-M local leader Vishnu in 2008. The Court acquitted 13 RSS workers in this regard, observing that the prosecution case reeked of a deliberate attempt to tutor witnesses, collect evidence and define a scripted story.

The High Court acquitted them while considering an appeal filed by the accused challenging the order of the Additional Sessions Court in Thiruvananthapuram which sentenced 11 accused to double life imprisonment, one accused to life imprisonment and the remaining one to 3 years of jail.

The court observed that sufficient evidence is not there to prove the offence. The acquitted men are T Santhosh, Manoj alias Kakkotta Manoj, Binukumar, Harilal, Renjith Kumar, Balu Mahendra, Vipin, Satheesh Kumar, Bose, Manikantan, Vinod Kumar, Subash, Sivalal.

The court further noted, “There is absolutely no evidence worth its salt and the prosecution failed to prove any corroborative circumstance but for the political rivalry existing between two groups.”

“The eye-witness testimonies are incredulous, the identification unbelievable, the recoveries unsubstantiated and the seizures leading to nothing,” the court said.

Further slamming the prosecution, the court said, “We cannot but acquit the accused of the charges levelled against them, the prosecution having miserably failed to prove the incriminating circumstances against the accused.”

Vishnu was murdered on April 1, 2008, in front of the Kaithamukku passport office at Thiruvananthapuram. Vishnu, who was the Branch committee member of CPIM was accused in a case related to attacking RSS workers and the RSS office with crude bombs.

The trial was completed in seven months on special directions from the High Court. Around 77 witnesses were cross-examined and 162 documents and 65 material evidence were examined during trial. They were found guilty by the Sessions Court on December 17, 2016, and awarded the sentence on December 19. (With inputs from ANI)

Citing the judgement, RSS leader and Prajna Pravah national coordinator Shri J Nandakumar said that it is a litmus test of present scenario in the state. The entire system has been politicised and the police are functioning as an executive branch of CPM.

“While acquitting the accused, the court made very serious observations and slammed prosecution for its attempts to tutor witnesses and fabricate the case. This is a litmus test to understand the present scenario in the state. The entire system has been politicized and the police are functioning as an executive branch of CPM. The CPM has systematically cultivated this culture of inducting party cadres into the state forces through the backdoor and maintaining CPM fraction in the police force,” Shri Nandakumar said.

“In Kerala, both Congress and CPM promote trade unionism in the state force in order to use the force according to their whims and fancies. Following this, now Islamic terrorist groups like PFI have their fraction in the state force. In multiple incidents, the Islamist moles in the state force provide tip-off to the Jihadis to murder RSS-BJP workers. In the light of this judgement, all the cases filed by CPM in which RSS-BJP were falsely accused and convicted, should be reviewed. On one hand, RSS-BJP workers are being falsely accused, on the other the CPM criminals who are arrested on various charges including murder, go scot-free due to the compromised policing system. This is a grave situation. The Centre and Supreme Court must intervene in this situation and reinstate civil rights and independence of executive in the state,” he added.

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