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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Kerala HC asks CBI to probe killing of two Youth Congress workers

The court accepted the contention of the petitioner and said key evidence had been overlooked and investigators took the statements of the accused as “gospel truth”.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2019 21:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Thiruvananthapuram
The court asked why the police ignored the observation of the forensic surgeon that weapons seized were incapable of inflicting wounds found on their bodies. Both received more than 30 stab wounds.
The court asked why the police ignored the observation of the forensic surgeon that weapons seized were incapable of inflicting wounds found on their bodies. Both received more than 30 stab wounds.(PTI file photo)
         

The Kerala High Court on Monday handed over the murder case of Youth Congress activists in north Kerala to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after dismissing the charge-sheet filed by the state crime branch.

The court has also passed strictures against the police and said there were serious lapses in the investigation. Two Youth Congress workers, Kripesh (20) and Sharth Lal (24), were hacked to death by an alleged group of CPI(M) workers in Periya (Kasargode district) in February. Kripesh’s father had moved the High Court seeking a CBI probe saying police investigation was not on the right track and they were trying to save senior leaders of the ruling party who had hatched the conspiracy.

The court accepted the contention of the petitioner and said key evidence had been overlooked and investigators took the statements of the accused as “gospel truth”. The court asked why the police ignored the observation of the forensic surgeon that weapons seized were incapable of inflicting wounds found on their bodies. Both received more than 30 stab wounds.

The single bench of Justice B Sudeendra Kumar also rejected the contention of the crime branch that some personal enmity had led to the murder. The state government had opposed the CBI probe saying it had been investigated by senior officers but the court refused to accept its version observing that it seemed to be a well- planned political murder.

The police had arrested 14 CPI(M) workers after the murder but there were serious allegations that they tried to shield many senior leaders who allegedly hatched the plot to eliminate the two youngsters. Relatives of both have welcomed the verdict. “We hope senior party leaders who hatched this heinous conspiracy will be brought to justice,” said Kripesh’s father.

The two men were local favourites and actively involved in community services in the area. They were returning home on a motorbike from a local temple festival in Periya when the assailants came on four vehicles, waylaid them and hacked them to death. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had visited their families in March, before filing his nominations for the parliamentary elections from Wayanad.

Opposition Congress has sought the resignation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also holds the home portfolio, saying it was a slap on his face. “How will people live in this country when the ruling party plans and executes murders and the government protects the killers?” asked opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

First Published: Sep 30, 2019 21:35 IST

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