In a setback to Communist Party of India-Maxist in Kerala, several of the party's district and local functionaries figure in a charge sheet filed on Monday by police in the case of murder of Marxist rebel and Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T P Chandrasekharan in May last.
The chargesheet, filed by the Special Investigating Team in the first class judicial magistrate court in Vatakara, listed members of the gang which carried out the murder as the first seven accused while CPI-M leaders face charges of hatching the conspiracy and harbouring the culprits.
Once a prominent CPI-M leader in the party stronghold Onjiyam near Vatrakara, Chandrasekharan was expelled from the party in 2008 after he questioned the leadership over ideological and organisational issues.
Chandrasekharan was hacked to death at Vallikkad near his home on the night of May 4, triggering strong political reactions from within and outside the state.
In all, 76 persons have been named as accused in the chargesheet prepared after a probe which gathered evidence with the help of scientific methods, including cyber tools. The murder put CPI-M on the defensive following the arrest of several party functionaries from Kozhikode and Kannur districts.
The CPI-M has, however, refuted the allegation that the murder was the result of a conspiracy involving the party. Those listed as accused include CPI-M's Kozhikode
district secretariat member P Mohanan, Onjiyam area secretary and former state leader of party's government employees union leader C H Asokan and Panur areas committee member P K Kunhananathan.
The first seven accused include members of the gang C Anup, Kodi Suni,'Keermani' Manoj and others. Besides denting CPI-M's image, the case also served as a trigger to intensify the commotions in the state unit with senior leader V S Achuthanandan often issuing statements that put the state leadership under his bete noire Pinarayi Vijayan in the shadow of doubt.Achuthanandan was recently censured by the party's central committee for striking an agressive posture and making public statements against the state leadership.