Kerala government has announced a magisterial probe into the killing of Velmurugan near Kattikulam in Wayanad on November 3. The Additional Chief Secretary (Home) TK Jose issued the order on Tuesday. The order said that Wayanad District Collector Adeela Abdulla will conduct the inquiry as per Section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The collector has been asked to submit the report within three months.
33-year-old Velmurugan was gunned down by the Thunderbolt anti-insurgency force of the Kerala police. The family of Velmurugan, on Monday, moved the District and Sessions Court at Kalpetta in Wayanad alleging that he was killed in a fake encounter. Advocate Murugan, Velmurugan's brother, asked the court for directions that the post-mortem report and the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the police be furnished to the family.
In the plea the family has also demanded that the police officials responsible for Velmurugan's death be booked under charges of murder, as per the Supreme Court verdict of 2014. The SC in 2014 had ruled that alleged encounter killings must be investigated independently. A Human rights activist in the state has filed the petition for the family.
The Thunderbolt had said that they fired in self-defence and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan too backed their statement. However there has been sharp criticism over the killing accusing it as a fake encounter.
The CPI, allied to the CPI(M) heading Left Democratic Front , has also said that the firing was unilateral and there were no traces of an encounter on the spot. CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran has said that no police personnel was injured to back the claim that it was an encounter and that no one sought treatment.
Velmurugan is the eighth suspected Maoist who was killed since the Left government came to power in 2016. The Opposition Congress has attacked the government saying it’s surprising that eight people were killed under a Communist rule.