Video of TP Chandrasekharan murder convict dancing while out on parole triggers outrage

KK Mohammad Shafi, who is serving a life term for the murder of CPI(M) dissident TP Chandrasekharan, was out on parole for 45 days.
Video of TP Chandrasekharan murder convict dancing while out on parole triggers outrage
Video of TP Chandrasekharan murder convict dancing while out on parole triggers outrage

A video clip of a young man clapping and dancing animatedly without a care in the world to Tamil song ‘Guleba’ has gone viral on social media. No, not for the dancer’s skills on the dance floor. But because the man in question is a murder convict, serving a life term for a high-profile political killing in Kerala.

KK Mohammed Shafi, who was accused number 5 and convicted for the murder of CPI(M) dissident TP Chandrasekharan, had been granted ‘emergency parole’ on December 27 and was out for a total of 45 days before he returned to the Viyyur Central Prison on February 10. Shafi had originally applied for 3-day emergency parole to visit a relative, who was unwell. However, the government later granted him an extension of 42 days.  

The video that has now surfaced was reportedly taken at the wedding of a party worker during the time that Shafi was out on parole.

According to reports, the clip first showed up on a Facebook group of Shafi sympathisers with the caption ’This is our comrade. He cannot be weakened.’ Another video clip of Shafi , wearing a white shirt and veshti and dancing to drum beats too, has surfaced on social media. The users, who support the convict, shared the video clip with a caption which asked if there was any clauses which prohibited dancing while on parol.

“The parole was not granted on the condition that he won’t dance. He (Shafi) too has dreams and desires. He too is human. If he should just sit at home and not get out then he need not have come out on parole. He could have sat inside Viyyur Central Prison,” the caption read.

Speaking TNM, officers at the Viyyur Central Prison said, “It is common for convicts to apply for parole extension after they are out. This is how Shafi’s parole got extended from 3 days to 45 days.  The officers refused to divulge other details of the convict.

The clips have triggered outrage, with several accusing the LDF government of going soft on the TP Chandrasekharan murder convicts, who are serving life sentence.

In July 2017, Mohammad Shafi’s wedding in Kannur was reportedly attended by several big CPI(M) leaders including AN Shamseer, MLA and former State President of DYFI (Youth wing of CPI(M). Manoj Kumar aka Kirmani Manoj, another convict and who was accused number 2, had also been granted a three-day parole and an extension of 15 days to get married in Puducherry in September 2018.

AN Shamseer (first from right) with Mohammad Shafi (third from right) at the latter's wedding in Kerala

In October 2018, PK Kunjananthan, who was accused number 13, had been granted parole of 40 days and a 5-day extension by the state government. Kunjananthan who is serving a life term in the Kannur Prison had been granted a total of 389 days of parole ever since he was convicted in 2014. Between May 25, 2015 and June 8, 2017 Kunjananthan was granted parole for 217 days. The details of his parole then were accessed by KK Rema, the widow of Chandrasekharan, through an RTI.

Back in 2013, prior to their conviction, a photo of Shafi, Manoj, Kodi Suni (3rd accused), Annan Shijith and K Shinoj (6th and 7th accused),  had been posted on Facebook prompting a raid in the Kozhikode district prison where they were lodged. The photo revealed that the accused had access to mobile phones, were allowed to access social media and were offered unrestrained freedom in the jail premises.

Kirmani Manoj, Shafi and Kodi Suni in prison. Photo credits: Manorama News 

TP Chandrasekharan, the 51-year-old founder of the Revolutionary Marxist Party in Kerala was brutally hacked to death in Kozhikode on May 4, 2012. Chandrasekharan’s murder which occurred three years after he formed the RMP in 2009, remains one of the most shocking political murders in Kerala till date. Following his murder in 2012, the state has witnessed several political killings, the latest being the double murders of Youth Congress workers in Kasaragode in which a local CPI(M) leader has been arrested. 

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