According to reports, the police suspect that Peethambaran had planned the murder for political vendetta.

CPIM man Peethambaran arrested for murder of two Youth Congress members in Kerala
news Crime Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 19:16

Peethambaran A, a local CPI (M) leader in Kasaragod has been arrested by the investigation team probing the murder of two Youth Congress workers in Periya, district police chief A Srinivas told TNM.

The arrest was made on Tuesday evening. Police had taken Peethambaran in custody on Monday night. He will be presented before the magistrate on Wednesday.

Two Youth Congress workers, Kripesh (22) and Sharath Lal (24) had been slayed by three men who came in motorcycles on Sunday night. While Kripesh died in Kasaragod district hospital, Sharath  had succumbed to injuries on the way to a medical facility in Mangaluru in Karnataka.

According to reports, the police suspect that Peethambaran had planned the murder for political vendetta. Though the police are silent on the exact motive, sources say that Kripesh and Sharath  were involved in a skirmish with Peethambaran earlier.

It is after a day long interrogation that the police arrested Peethambaran on Tuesday evening, A Srinivas told TNM.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Peethambaran, a local committee member, has been ousted from CPI(M). The decision to oust the local leader was taken after a meeting held by party’s state committee. CPI (M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had earlier said that nobody will be protected if it is proven that they had a hand in the crime. He had also said that the party has no role in the crime which happened in Periya.

“The party does not agree to killing people in the name of politics. CPI (M) is a party which has lost many members because of this. Those who have connection with the crime will not be protected under any cost,” Kodiyeri told the media, hours before the arrest was confirmed. 

It is also reported that police had seized the vehicle which the culprits had used. According to media reports, vehicle numbered KL-14 J 5683 has been taken into custody.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kerala High Court had said that politics which result in violence is not suitable for a civilised society.

Skirmishes between supporters and police were reported from many places on Monday. Youth Congress demonstrators repeatedly stoned state owned buses and forcibly closed down shops in some areas.

The alleged motive

According to sources, last month, a scuffle between the local CPI(M) and the KSU activists of Munnad People’s College, a self-financing institution, is what sparked the violence that took Sharath’s and Kripesh’s lives.

After the attack on KSU workers, a few Youth Congress members had halted a bus in Periya and threatened the staff, stoking the tensions further. This later led to clashes between DYFI workers (the youth wing of the CPM) and Youth Congress workers in Kalyott, a Congress stronghold where the college is located.

During this scuffle, Peethambaran, a local committee member of DYFI, injured his hand and Sharath was named as the accused number 1 in the case and was remanded.

Sharath and Peethambaran were also members of the same local temple committee which then summoned the duo to talk and iron out their differences. However, this effort turned futile and led to both parties giving each other death threats.