11 workers of Communist Party of India (Marxist) were given life imprisonment by Thalassery’s additional district and sessions court on Thursday, for murdering a BJP activist, The Hindu has reported. Besides this, they have been awarded a 10 year rigorous imprisonment under the explosives act. They would also have to pay a Rs 50,000 fine per person.
The 32 year old BJP activist A Mahesh was murdered by the CPM workers in Kerala’s Chittariparamba town in 2008. Now the court has announced that Rs 3 lakh would be paid to Mahesh’s family as compensation.
The convicted CPM workers have been identified as Pongoli Dhanesh, Oniyan Babu, Nellikka Uthaman, Chemmeri Prakashan, Manoli Umesh, Vazhavalappil Ranjith, Nellikka Mukesh, Karat Purushothaman, Chirukandoth Sunesh, Manappatti Sooraj and Vayaleri Shiju.
As detailed by a Times of India report, the matter began when a BJP worker named Sumesh was attacked in Thalassery on 5 March 2008. Mass violence ensured where four BJP workers and three CPM workers were killed.
One of the unfortunate ones was Mahesh who used to drive an auto-rickshaw for a living. On 6 March, 2008, a mob had attacked a bus stop with bombs in Chittariparamba at 6 AM. Following this they caught hold of Mahesh near the bus stop and hacked him to death. The report also claimed that the murder was motivated by the fact that Mahesh left CPM to join the BJP.
Following the attack, prosecution authorities questioned 18 witnesses and produced crime weapons plus 27 documents to bolster their case, which ultimately resulted in the conviction of the CPM workers.
This conviction comes just a couple of months after three workers of the CPM were arrested by the Kerala police for murdering a BJP activist named Shamez. The murder had taken place near Kannur which is the hometown of Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Kannur has become notorious for violent attacks and killings of RSS and BJP workers, which have increased ever since the Left Front government took charge in Kerala in May 2016.