The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday, December 1, arrested five CPI(M) members in connection with the Periya double murder case, where two Youth Congress workers were killed in 2019. The arrests by CBI come one year after the apex court upheld the verdict of the Kerala High Court's division bench to hand over the probe to the CBI. This is the first arrest the CBI has made after they took over the probe and the total number of arrests has reached 19, as 14 accused persons were earlier arrested by the Kerala police Crime Branch.
The arrested include CPI-M leaders from the area â€” Vishnu Sura, S Madhu, Reji Varghese, Hari Prasad and Raju. The gruesome murder took place on February 17, 2019 at Periya in Kasargode district. Youth Congress workers Krupesh, 19, and Sharath Lal Joshy, 24, were attacked by three motorcycle-borne men while returning from an event. While Krupesh died at the Kasaragod district hospital, Joshy succumbed to his injuries on his way to a medical facility in Mangaluru in Karnataka.
The family members of the victims and the Congress have been demanding a CBI probe from the outset, saying that the police had failed to arrest the â€˜real accusedâ€™ who the family alleges are senior CPI(M) leaders in Kasaragod. The families alleged that they conspired to eliminate the two young Congress workers.
The family then approached the High Court for a CBI probe and a single bench approved of it, but the Pinarayi Vijayan government filed an appeal before a division bench, which upheld the single bench verdict. Then, the Pinarayi Vijayan government approached the Supreme Court and on December 1, 2020, the apex court upheld the division bench verdict.
State Congress president K Sudhakaran called the arrests by CBI â€˜a blowâ€™ to the Vijayan government. The five arrested accused will now be produced before the CBI court at Kochi on Thursday.
With IANS inputs