Making its stand firm on the killing of four people suspected to be Maoists in Manjeekkandi forest of Attappady in Palakkad district, the CPI has submitted a report on it to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reiterating the party’s stand that it was a fake encounter.
The second largest constituent in the ruling Left Democratic Front after the CPI(M), the CPI since the beginning has been asserting that the killing was a fake encounter while the government insists that it wasn’t and that the Maoists didn’t come to surrender.
Though not divulging the contents of the report, CPI state assistant secretary K Prakabh Babu told TNM it was clearly spelled out that it was a fake encounter.
“Our conclusion is that it was indeed a fake encounter,” Prakash Babu said. A group of leaders of the CPI visited the spot where the killings happened in Attappady.
“But the entire contents of the report I won’t divulge as it has been handed over to the Chief Minister now. The report is based on our meeting with the local people and on the spot inspection,” Prakash said.
The killings happened on October 28 and the very next day, the CPI had come out slamming it as a fake encounter. “Our approach to the Maoists is clear. The CPI does not agree with the politics of the Maoists or their ideology. But it’s inhuman to finish them off just because they are Maoists, were armed, or possessed writings of Mao. We won’t ever be able to agree with that. There are Supreme Court guidelines on encounter killings, people should be killed through an encounter only if there is possibility for them to commit a grave criminal offence,” he said.
But in Kerala, Prakash Babu added that Maoists have not killed anyone in any region nor have they damaged any property or attacked anyone in the recent past, asking how the killings can be justified then.
“In LDF too, the common feeling is that the Maoists’s issue shouldn’t be viewed as a law and order problem but should be approached as a socio-economic problem instead. We will make the stand firmer in the coalition,” he said.
The CPI’s stance has put the government in a spot, with the Opposition too intensifying its attack on the issue.
The slain people are Karthi, Aravind, Manivasakam and Rema. Meanwhile, the High Court (HC) has stayed the cremation of Manivasakam and Karthi on a petition filed by their relatives. The relatives had earlier raised objection against conducting autopsy without allowing them to see the bodies and had demanded a re-postmortem. The High Court stay is on an order by Sessions Court Palakkad which had allowed cremation of the bodies. The HC has also reportedly directed to take measures to preserve the bodies.