One of Kerala's top CPI (M) leaders, P Jayarajan, already out on bail in the murder of an RSS activist, got a jolt on Thursday when the CBI charged him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the same case.
The CBI filed the second charge sheet against Jayarajan, the Kannur district secretary of CPI (M0, at the CBI court in Kochi, where the trail in the case is underway.
Though he is the 25th accused in the 2014 murder of RSS activist Kathirur Manoj, the CBI chargesheet says that without his knowledge the murder would not have taken place.
The first accused in the murder case was a very close aide of Jayarajan.
After the first charge sheet, Jayarajan was arrested in 2016 and after being in jail for over three weeks he secured bail.
Manoj was one of those accused of trying to kill Jayarajan in 1999.
Manoj was in turn attacked by a seven-member gang on September 1, 2014, at Kathirur near Kannur. The assailants first threw a bomb on his vehicle and later hacked him to death.
A former legislator of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the 64-year-old Jayarajan is a close aide of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also hails from Kannur.
Reacting to the turn of events, Jayarajan told reporters in Kannur that the central government is going forward with "political vendetta" against him.
"The CBI has not followed the basic guidelines of seeking the state government's permission when UAPA charges are clamped. We will seek legal recourse," said Jayarajan.