Senior CPI(M) leader P Jayarajan has been remanded to judicial custody for a month in connection with the murder of Kathiroor Manoj, an RSS leader.
With the assembly elections round the corner in Kerala, this comes as a huge setback for the CPI(M). Jayarajan surrendered before a local court on Friday morning, a day after the Kerala High Court rejected his bail application. His plea for a hospital transfer was also rejected by the Court.
He will be sent to Kannur central jail. This is the second time he will spend time in jail. Prior to this, he was in jail in connection with the Shukoor murder case.
The High Court on Thursday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Kannur district Secretary P Jayarajan, an accused in the murder of an RSS functionary in 2014, which is being probed by CBI.
Dismissing the plea, a division bench comprising Justice K T Sankaran and Justice K P Jyothindranath observed that there are prima facie materials to charge offence under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Jayarajan in the murder case.
The bench said the law applies equally to all - the mighty and the poor, the literate and the illiterate - and no extraordinary treatment can be given to the petitioner.
Before pronouncing the judgement, the High Court examined the CBI case diary. However, the High Court said it was not giving any opinion on the merit of the case.
Opposing the bail plea of Jayarajan, CBI submitted that the CPI(M) strongman was the "kingpin and mastermind" of the criminal conspiracy hatched to murder E Manoj and claimed that it had materials to prove the charges against him.
CBI had issued summons to him in connection with the probe.
Jayarajan moved the High Court seeking anticipatory bail after a lower court in Thalassery rejected his plea last month.
Thalassery District and Sessions court Judge V K Anil Kumar had rejected the bail petition of Jayarajan who was arraigned as the 25th accused in the murder case.
CBI had in January listed Jayarajan as an accused and framed charges against him under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the case.
Manoj (42), a district functionary of RSS, was hacked to death in politically volatile Kathiroor area of Kannur district on September 1, 2014, allegedly by a group of CPI(M) workers.