The Kerala High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on the police for its shoddy investigation into the murder of Youth Congress worker Shuhaib and ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the probe.
Shuhaib (29), a block secretary in the Youth Congress, was hacked to death in Mattanur, Kannur. Five people, including two CPI (M) workers, have been arrested so far in connection with his death.
On Wednesday, the court observed that those behind the case were refusing to accept responsibility and that the conspiracy angle was not exposed in the Kannur political murders.
The High Court was considering a plea submitted by Shuhaibâ€™s parents seeking a CBI investigation into the case. Earlier, talking to the media, the family had expressed dissatisfaction with the state police investigation.
The court also observed that there was foul play in the recovery of the weapons that were allegedly used in Shuhaibâ€™s murder. The court noted that though all the accused had been arrested, the police havenâ€™t been able to find the actual weapons used for the murder.
Shortly after the High Courtâ€™s order, Shuhaibâ€™s sister expressed relief at the verdict.
â€śRight from the start of the investigation the Pinarayi government has been trying to protect some names. There was a serious conspiracy to murder my brother. That is the reason they always opposed an investigation by the CBI. Only truth will win at the end,â€ť she told media.
The High Courtâ€™s decision comes days after CM Pinarayi Vijayanâ€™s statement dismissing any need for a CBI probe into the case.
The Congress in Kannur had thrown its weight behind Shuhaibâ€™s family and senior party leader K Sudhakaran even went on a fast for more than a week.
â€śNow if the CBI does a proper job, it will lead to the real culprits behind this murder,â€ť Sudhakaran said.
The family had earlier threatened to launch an indefinite strike if the government did not transfer the case to the CBI.
Shuhaibâ€™s father CP Mohammed told the media that he and his family were happy that the court accepted their demand. â€śThe real culprits and those involved in the conspiracy have to be brought to book,â€ť Mohammed said.
Meanwhile, the HCâ€™s order attracted quick responses from political leaders. BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan took to Facebook to demand that Pinarayi Vijayan quit the home ministry.
â€śIt would only be appropriate for the CM Pinarayi Vijayan to step down from the Home Ministry. This is not the first time that the government has faced such criticism from the HC. The HC verdict comes right after the CMâ€™s statement that dismissed any need for a CBI probe. Why do we need a CM just to battle the backlash he receives for his governance,â€ť reads his post.