- P Chandrasekharan was a former CPI (M) whole timer in North Kerala. He was riding a motorbike alone, while returning after participating in a wedding on May 4 2012. He was attacked by assailants who arrived in a car. Country-made bombs were hurled at him, following which he fell off his bike. He was hacked to death with sharp weapons, mainly focusing his face. He sustained 51 ante-mortem injuries, according to the postmortem report. At least 30 houses were attacked and two dozen vehicles burnt in North Kerala following the incident. Through his death, a woman was widowed, and a youth lost his father.
Eleven persons, three of them local CPM ‘functionaries’ were sentenced to life imprisonment. One of the twelve was awarded three years imprisonment.
- Mohammed Nisham(38) was owner of the Kings Group of Companies. He was ‘angered’ with Chandrabose(47), the security guard of the Sobha City Apartment Complex near Thrissur over the delay in opening the gate for him at around 2.55 a.m. on January 29, 2015. The angry business man rammed his Hummer sports Utility Vehicle into the security man. The ‘angry young man’ dragged the seriously injured security man into his SUV and thrashed him again at the parking lot. After three weeks of treatment, the security man died on February 16.
The Thrissur District additional Sessions court sentenced Nisham to life term and an additional 24 years of imprisonment.
- Paul Muthoot George was Executive Director of the 20,000-crore Muthoot group, one of the leading NBFCs in the country. On the night of August 22 2009, he travelled along the Alappuzha-Changanassery Toad, accompanied by two wanted criminals Om Prakash and Puthanpalam Rajesh, who allegedly had links with CPI (M) leaders. The accused persons were also members of a supary gang, who were going from Changanassery to Alappuzha in two vans to attack a person in Alapuzha. However, one of their cars developed some hitch. While they were repairing the vehicle, the car in which George and his friends were travelling hit a two-wheeler parked near the van. George drove away without attending to the two-wheeler rider. This provoked the supari gang leader, who asked his colleagues in the other vehicle to follow the car. In a drunken rage, they tailed Paul’s vehicle and confronted the businessman when he stopped to inspect his van for damage. In the ensuing scuffle, Kari Satheesh, the main accused knifed Paul to death.
A CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram sentenced nine to life imprisonment and four others to three years in jail.
An RTI (Right To Information) had revealed that the ruling LDF (Left Democratic Front) government in Kerala, led by the CPI (M) had prepared a list of CPM men serving life terms for the murder of Chandrasekharan, among those ‘eligible’ to be granted special remission of sentence. The list also included the names of Muhammed Nisham, and Om Prakash, an accused in the Paul murder case. A similar attempt was rightly struck down by the state Governor only recently.
Persistent attempts to let loose the criminals, that would have surprised even Barabbas was least expected from the ruling LDF ministry in the state, whose governance has been much beyond expectation , until this avoidable blemish, since being sworn in on 25 May 2016.
This came as a body blow to a state reeling under a steep rise in crimes of various kinds, especially harassment of women and girl children,( almost a daily occurrence, as if by rule than exception), including tiny tots below the age of 2 and 3, executed by even grandparents, ‘uncles’ and ‘cousins’. In numerous instances even parents watched with folded hands as their little daughters were being dragged into flesh trade with their connivance, earning Kerala the new label ‘God’s disowned country’. A duly elected government in a democracy has a responsibility towards ensuring a foolproof law and order milieu in the land they are elected to govern. The citizens who voted them to power expect those forming the government to ensure a crime free society. Here, the CPI (M)-led LDF sought to set free men owing allegiance to the CPI (M), involved in above mentioned cases that shook the state’s conscience before they completed their terms of imprisonment. The audacity of the ruling powers-that-be is more frightening than reassuring. Where will an average citizen turn to, if he/she is wronged, or even killed, for that matter? What message does the incumbent government’s ‘largesse’ send out to the wannabe crimesters, goons and murderers? They are assured of a free run in the state, even if they murder. Even if they loot.
Mercifully, as if to suggest that God has not yet disowned His ‘own country’ that once was, a private citizen, PD Joseph filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the state government not to release convicts involved in brutal crimes including rape, murder and dacoity from jails.
The learned court rose to the potentially anarchic situation by directing the state government that no convict should be released without completing their prison sentence pronounced by trial courts till further order by the High Court. This came as a welcome breather for the state’s citizens. This is not to say that a prisoner who completes his term in prison turns a new page by donning the cloak of reformation to live as a law-abiding individual. A state which attempts to ensure civility and rule of law within society through laws and stringent mechanisms to ensure their observance might serve to deter lawbreakers. This is what sociologists believe, though with a great deal of skepticism, going by the crimes indulged in nations that boasts of stringent punishment bordering on the inhuman, like the Middle-Eastern nations. At least, let us have the benefit of doubt in a seemingly crumbling society that Kerala has turned into, these days.