Thiruvananthapuram: In a major setback to the state government and the ruling CPM, the Kerala High court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the investigation into the murder of youth Congress worker Shuhaib in Kannur.
The directive from Justice Kamal Pasha came on Wednesday just four hours after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stated in the Assembly that there was no need for an investigation by the central agency.
On Monday too, two days after the government said it was open to any probe, the Chief Minister had said there was no need for a CBI investigation.
This is the fourth case of political murder from Kannur district to be probed by the Thiruvananthapuram unit of the agency.
Allowing the petition filed by CP Muhammad and SP Razia, parents of Shuhaib, the single bench accepted their argument that a fair and proper investigation into the case may not be possible under the local police. It also dismissed the argument of the government that only the Division Bench of the High court can order a CBI investigation.
The court directed the state to provide all support to the CBI to investigate the case. It also said, if the CBI feels that a fresh investigation is required in the case, it was free to approach the court. It ordered the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the police should hand over the case diary and all related documents to the CBI.
The court observed that the workers at lower ranks of the political parties were used as pawns in the hands of their leaders to finish off their political rivals.
Reacting to the court's directive, the Chief Minister said the court may have its own stand and he is not aware of it. "The government's stand is clear and the police investigation is in the right direction," he said.
Both the district and state leadership of CPM tried to put up a strong defence following the new development.
CPM State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan who termed CBI as an agency of RSS said the party is not afraid of any kind of investigation. “Across the country, the Sangh Parivar is after the communists. The investigation is a ploy to divert the attention from their attack on Communists," he said.
CPM District secretary P Jayarajan who tried to view it as the result of an unholy nexus between Congress and BJP said his party has nothing to hide in this murder.
Thirty-year-old Youth Congress worker, Shuhaib was murdered on the night of February 12 with 37 cuts allegedly by CPM workers while he, along with a few friends, was waiting in front of an eatery near Mattanoor. All the 11 people arrested by the SIT are CPM workers.