Published: 19th February 2019
Kasargod killings: Local CPM leader prime suspect in Youth Congress duo murder
The state police chief has formed the special team by tapping officers from the district crime branch, district police and district police chief's special squad
The police are hot on the trail of a local CPM leader in connection with Sunday's murder of Youth Congress workers Sarath Lal, 21, alias Joshi and Kripesh, 24.
Periya local committee member Peethambaran is a suspect in the case and he has gone into hiding, said District Crime Detachment Cell Dy SP M Pradeep Kumar, who is heading the special investigating team.
"Preliminary investigation has revealed the two Youth Congress workers are victims of political killings," he said.
The state police chief has formed the special team by tapping officers from the district crime branch, district police and district police chief's special squad, he said.
Crime branch Dy SP TP Ranjith, who visited the crime scene, said several persons affiliated to the CPM had made death threats to Kripesh and Sarath on social media for political activism. "Peethambaran is among those who made the threats," said Pradeep Kumar.
The usual politics on a college campus could have descended into the murder of two youths, the police suspect.
Kripesh and Sarath had warned a few SFI activists not to attack KSU workers on People's Co-Operative Arts and Science College at Munnad. However, when the attack continued, the two allegedly assaulted Peethambaran, who they suspected was behind the attack on KSU workers.
The police charged Sarath and 10 others for attempt to murder in connection with the case. Kripesh was the sixth accused in the case. Sarath was arrested and remanded in custody for 21 days. "He was just out of prison on bail when they killed him," said Baburaj M K, a lawyer and uncle of Sarath.
The attempt-to-murder charge itself was disproportionate to the attack and was slapped on Sarath because of political pressure. "But we thought they would be happy with the charge and he was in jail for 21 days. What more did they want? Did they really have to brutally kill him for a usual scuffle?" he said.
But since the attack, the two started getting death threats on social media and their photographs were widely circulated. Police are questioning five persons who made the threats.
The police and neighbours said they Sarath could have been the main target and Kripesh was killed because he was witness to the crime.
The two were returning from a temple function on a motorcycle when they were waylaid and killed on Sunday night.