The two CPI (M) men arrested in connection with the murder of a young Congress worker are the real culprits and not "dummy accused", said a senior police official in Kannur on Monday.
Youth Congress worker Shuhaib, 30, was waiting at an eatery near Mattanoor around 10.45 p.m on Monday last week when four persons riding a car hurled bombs to create panic and then fatally slashed him with a sword.
"Accused Akash and Rijin Raj were also involved in another murder case. Their arrest has been recorded and they have been taken for medical check-up," said the officer.
What has shocked many is a picture of the two accused with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, which has appeared in the state.
Speaking to the media in Kannur for the first time since the incident, Director General of Police (North Zone) Rajesh Diwan said he decided to speak to the press to clarify some false news appearing here and there.
"...for some reason, politics is getting mixed with this case. When we began the case, the only thing we knew was that a white car had been used. Today, we have two people in custody and they are CPI (M) workers and they are the real culprits. The probe is going forward and I personally assure that we will not fail in our duties," said Diwan.
The Congress party has begun a huge protest in Kannur and in the state capital, saying that the police were not doing a "clean job" and that "dummy accused" were being framed.
"No innocent person is in our custody and we do not know if the murder was used for political purposes. Those arrested are the executors of the murder... There are conspirators too and we will arrest them as well. But, at the moment, we don't know how many days it will take," added Diwan.
With the police clearly stating that the arrested accused were CPI (M) workers, the earlier statement from the Kannur unit of the party, which denied any role in the murder, has fallen flat.
Senior Congress leader K. Sudhakaran, who is the senior-most Congress leader in Kannur, on Monday launched a 48-hour fast to protest the "callous attitude" of the police.
"It's strange that although CPI (M) Kannur district secretary P. Jayarajan says the party has no role in this murder case, one of the arrested persons is a close aide of Jayarajan and is very active in the cyber world for the CPI (M), yet he says he has no clue," said Sudhakaran.
In the state capital, state Youth Congress president Dean Kuriakose began a 48-hour fast in front of the state secretariat to protest the politics of violence.
Balakrishnan, for the second consecutive day claimed through his Facebook posts that his party had no role in the case.