At a time when CPI(M) workers are under arrest for the killing of rebel leader TP Chandrasekharan, a senior district-level functionary on Friday night brazenly declared his party had indeed committed "political murders" and even justified them.
However, Mani later said that he did not mean physically eliminating anyone.
Idukki district secretary MM Mani said at a public meeting in Idukki the party often prepared lists of its opponents and planned their execution.
"In Santhanpara we prepared a list of three and eliminated them one by one. The first one was shot dead; the second was beaten to death and third was stabbed to death. So nobody can browbeat the party, citing Chandrasekha-ran's murder," he said.The incidents he was alluding to took place in the 1980s.
Ridiculing opponents and the media for supposedly glorifying the death of Chandrasekharan, he said the party had seen enough bloodshed and mayhem. He also criticised opposition leader and former chief minister VS Achuthanandan for attending the funeral of the rebel leader, who was stabbed to death allegedly by a group of CPI(M) men on May 4.
"We have annihilated those who came in our way. Chandrasekharan's killing is not the last one," he warned.
Mani's speech has evoked widespread criticism.
Chief minister Oommen Chandy said the police would examine the matter and a register a case. "The CPI(M) owes an explanation," he said.
The speech has come when the party is divided over the murder of the rebel leader. Eighteen persons including a former president of the CPI(M)-backed Non-Gazetted Officers' Union, C H Ashokan, a staunch follower of party state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, have been arrested.