In a jolt to Communist Party of India-Marxist in Kerala, party's senior state leader P Jayarajan was on Wednesday arrested in connection with the murder of an Indian Union Muslim League youth wing activist, triggering widespread protests by the Marxist party, which dubbed it a 'political act' by Congress-led United Democratic Front government.
Jayarajan, a former member of Legislative Assembly and Kannur district secretary, was summoned by police for a third round of questioning on Wednesday morning based on clues obtained from questioning of party functionaries, including CPI-M MLA T V Rajesh recently.
Rajesh had also been listed as accused in the murder of Abdul Shukkoor allegedly by CPI-M activists at Keezhara near Kannavam in the district in February this year, in retaliation to the attack on some party functionaries in the area.
Soon after Jayarajan turned up before police, his arrest was recorded and he was produced before the Magistrate, who remanded him to 14 days judicial custody.
He has been charged under IPC section 118 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life). The CPI-M called for a state-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Thursday to protest the arrest.
Rejecting the CPI-M charge, Chief Minister Minister Oommen Chandy said police had only done their duty and government never interfered in the investigation. Police claimed that some prominent CPI-M leaders in the district were aware of the circumstances of the murder andthey had sought to harbour the culprits.
Jayarajan's arrest triggered protests and widespread violence in the area where police enforced prohibitory orders under CrPC 144 for 48 hours.