Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala asked what message the government is giving by commuting the sentence of a murder convict.

Row over commuting TP murder convicts sentence oppn walks out of Kerala Assembly
news Politics Friday, March 23, 2018 - 12:41

The Congress led opposition staged a walk-out of the Assembly on Friday morning protesting against the government’s move to commute the sentence of PK Kunjananthan. Kunjananthan is a convict in the TP Chandrasekharan murder, and was given a life sentence for criminal conspiracy.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala questioned the government's move asking what message the government is trying to communicate to the people by commuting the sentence of a murder convict.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan however said that a decision on this will be taken only after examining the legal side. "There is neither political interference, nor political discrimination, in granting parole to Kunjathanan," the CM said.

Though the opposition gave notice for a calling attention motion to discuss the issue, it was rejected by the Speaker. The opposition walked out the Assembly to protest this.

Kunjananthan was granted as many as 217 days of parole in a period spanning over two years and the government move to commute the sentence is viewed as political, as he is a prominent face of the CPI(M) in northern Kerala. The information regarding the unbelievable number of days of parole was accessed by KK Rema, Chandrasekharan’s wife, through RTI.

Read: Convict in TP Chandrasekharan murder case granted 217 days parole in 2 years: RTI

On March 16, the government’s move to commute the sentence of Kunjananthan sparked off a row. The Kerala government had included him in the list of prisoners above 70 years of age who would be given concessions.

The Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), the political party founded by founded by Chandrasekharan in 2009, has decided to move court against commuting sentence of Kunjananthan. RMP is now headed by his Chandrasekharan’s wife Rema.

Rema had also complained to the DGP (Prisons) R Sreelekha against the frequent paroles. She got a reply that the parole was granted as per the law.

Chandrasekharan was a CPI(M) leader in Kozhikode. He parted ways with the party in 2009 owing to differences of opinion and founded RMP. He was killed in May 2012. 

In November 2017, Kunjananthan took part in the Kuthuparamba local committee meeting of the CPI(M). He is still a member of CPI(M) Panur local committee.

Read: Kerala govt to commute life term of man convicted in TP Chandrasekharan killing?