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Kerala HC rejects petition by former DIG in encounter case

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 17, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007

4 July 2007The Kerala High Court has dismissed a petition filed by former DIG P Vijayan, a third accused in the naxalite Varghese murder case.Justice V Ramkumar dismissed the petition filed by the former police officer, challenging the order of CBI Special Court, Ernakulam, of June 8, 2007, dismissing his plea for discharge in the case.
Mr Justice Ramkumar observed that the affidavit sworn to and the extra-judicial confession by the first accused in the case could not be eschewed or discarded as worthless shred of evidence.He also observed that in a country where the rule of law was supreme and courts existed for doing justice to mankind and truth could be unravelled through an impartial, blemishless and faultless investigation, criminal trial alone was the answer.”I see no ground to interfere with the order passed by the trial court,” he added.
According to the prosecution, naxalite Varghese, who was allegedly killed in a police encounter on February 18, 1970, was shot dead by the first accused, a CRPF Constable Ramachandran Nair, who is now no more. He was ordered by the then Dy SP Laxmana and then DIG P Vijayan to shoot Varghese.The case was investigated by the CBI and the final report was laid before the Special CBI Court, Ernakulam, on December 11, 2002.Related post
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Special Correspondent
KOZHIKODE: Four persons, reported to be activists of the Adivasi Samara Sangham having links with the Naxalite outfit CPIML Naxalbari,’ were arrested for allegedly attacking the house of a priest in Kuppadi, near Sulthan Bathery in Wayanad, in the early hours of Friday. Two of them are women.
The police said a group of nearly 15 activists of the Adivasi Samara Sangham attacked A.K. Varghese’s house at 3.30 a.m. on Friday. The gang is believed to have used weapons to break open the front door.
They destroyed household utensils, a motorbike and broke the windowpanes, the police said . However, the priest, his wife and children were spared.
Before leaving, the group left behind a poster that said Varghese was responsible for sending “our brother Babu to jail though the offence he had allegedly committed was stealing some food.” The attackers escaped by the time neighbours reached the priest’s house.
A police team led by a Sub-Inspector of Police took into custody of four persons, including two women, from Kuppadi. Assistant Sub-Inspector K.J. Joy suffered a fracture on his hand after he was hit with an iron rod while making the arrest.
The attack on the house of the priest is believed to be in retaliation to the arrest, in 1993, of Babu, a resident of a colony in Kuppadi.
He is now undergoing imprisonment for the alleged offence.
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Monday, June 11, 2007
Kochi, June 10: The CBI special court here has directed two former senior police officers to appear before the court on June 16 when charges would be framed against them in connection with the death of Naxalite leader A Varghese in 1970.
Varghese, who police claimed had died in an ‘encounter’ 37 years ago in Thirunelli in Wynad district, was in fact murdered, according to CBI, which investigated the case.
CBI special court judge P Chandrasekhara Pillai directed B Vijayan and K Lakshmana, who retired as DGP and IGP respectively, to be present in the court on June 16 when the charges against them will be read out. The court will also decide when to start witness examination.
The plea of Vijayan and Lakshmana to discharge them from the case was rejected by the court on Friday.Former CRPF constable Ramachandran Nair, the first accused in the case, died in November last year.
The case according to CBI is that on February 18, 1970, Naxal leader Varghese was shot dead by Ramachandran Nair allegedly at the instigation Vijayan and Lakshmana, the then DIG and Dy SP respectively of Kozhikode.
Wynad district was the helm of Naxal activities and Varghese was accused in many Naxal attacks, especially in police stations and had been evading arrest.
CBI stated that Varghese was arrested, brought to CRPF camp at Thirunelli and shot.
However, police claimed that Varghese died in police encounter which was confirmed by the Kozhikode Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) who conducted the autopsy.
The Mananthavady police, in whose jurisdiction Thirunelli falls, closed the case as police ‘encounter’.
After a lapse of 29 years, in 1999, Ramachandran Nair, who had retired from service, approached the Kerala High Court with a prayer seeking inquiry into the death of Varghese, which, according to him, was not a police encounter but was instigated allegedly by Vijayan and Lakshmana. Nair filed an affidavit in the court to the effect that he shot Varghese, who was blindfolded and tied to a tree. He fired only one bullet and Varghese died.
The High Court then heard the state government, CBI and the petitioner.The government stuck to its stand that Varghese had died in a police encounter and sought a judicial probe.
The court refused the government’s plea for judicial probe and directed the CBI to inquire the matter on January 21, 1999.CBI, Delhi, took up the investigation and filed first information report (chargesheet) before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, in March 2002.
However, as a result of the petition moved by Lakshmana, proceedings in the lower court were stayed. On April 4, 2007, the High Court rejected Lakshmana’s petition and directed the CBI Special court, Kochi, to proceed with the trial.There are 71 witnesses in the prosecution side, key eyewitness being Hanifa, a former CRPF constable at Thirunelli.
Monday, April 30, 2007

`Government concealing facts about impact of SEZ on the project’
Says LDF leaders airing `irresponsible statements’
Criticises Government stand on ADB loan
Says LDF leaders airing `irresponsible statements’
Criticises Government stand on ADB loan
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Central secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML) K.N. Ramachandran has said that his party will launch intense agitations against the proposed `Smart City’ project in Ernakulam and all other Special Economic Zone (SEZ) projects in the State. Talking to The Hindu here on Friday, Mr Ramachandran said in the media euphoria that was being created in the name of `successful completion’ of the Smart City negotiations, the State Government was cleverly concealing the fact that the project area would be declared as SEZ.
It was now well known that as per the SEZ Act of 2005, any region declared as a SEZ would be like a `foreign country’ within the country. Most of the laws of the land were not applicable to such regions. They would work as per the wishes of the profit-making multi-national companies, Mr Ramachandran alleged .Trade union rightsWhen his attention was drawn to the reported statement of Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan that the Government would insist on trade union rights within the SEZ, the CPI(ML) leader said these were `irresponsible statements’ being made by the mainstream Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders in order to cover up their betrayal of the commitment to the people.
The SEZ Act was a Central legislation and no amendment had been made to it so far. Then how could the State Government deviate from it? he asked.The LDF Government took a similar position in the controversies regarding the Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan. They had then argued that they would not accept several conditions of the ADB.
But the conditions of the ADB were the same for all the States, he said.The newly-elected State secretary of the CPI(ML) P.J. James said the party supporters would take out a march to the spot where the proposed Smart City area would come up, within a couple of days. The party cadres would also physically remove the meters on public taps if the Government took such a step as per the dictates of the ADB.Surrendering to ADBThe CPI(ML) leaders said surrendering to the dictates of the ADB and giving sanction to the projects like SEZ and Smart City, the LDF Government led by V.S. Achuthanandan established that it was moving in a direction totally opposed to the approaches of the first Communist Government in Kerala in 1957So this Government had no moral or political right to celebrate the 50th year of the first Communist Ministry, they said.They said the party would also launch agitations for the release of prisoners who had completed 14 years of imprisonment
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Dear friend
Latest issue of Janakeeyapatha (Malayalam revolutionary magazine) has been published. Please contact us for copies.
ContentsCPI(Maoist) 9th congress reportInterview: Arundhathi RoyNandhigram: Fact finding reportSingure struggleSEZ: Neo colonial islands inside the countryRYO struggle reportHomage to comrade Chandramouli
For copiesEditor,Janakeeyapatha,xvii/183, kochi-22janakeeyapatha@rediffmail.comcontribution: Rs 10/-
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Saturday, April 7, 2007
Kannur (Kerala): The dust of Nandigram has not settled yet and there’s trouble brewing for the Left government in Kerala over land aquisition.
The state government which had bought land in the Aralam farm to help landless tribals now plans to evict them and the adivasis are now up in arms.
“We will not leave this land come what may. My grandfather, father and I were born here and our blood is part of this soil,” said leader of the adivasis, Moopan.
At the centre of the conflict is 7,500 acres of Aralam farm purchased by the state government from the Centre to resettle tribals.
For this, the state government spent Rs 42 crore from funds allocated for tribal welfare.
But now it says land allocation would be possible only if all those living there are evicted and the adivasis feel that the hidden agenda of the CPI-M is behind this move.
In the year 2001, the Congress-led government issued an order saying all adivasis holding less than one acre of land will be given land inside the farm.
But the present Left government says only those with less than one-fifth of an acre will be eligible for allotment. This, many allege, would leave a vast tract of fertile land with the government.
“Our policy is to give land first to those who don’t have even one cent of land,” said Minister for Home of government of Kerala, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
The Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha says many of the encroachers are CPI-M workers waiting for orders to evict other tribals.
“The CPI-M has already brought in party-backed goons into this farm. They are spreading terror among the natives here. In the name of allocating land, the government will give land to their supporters,” said Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha activist, Sreeraman Koyyon.
As the adivasis gear up for the battle ahead, Aralam is all set to become the next flash-point in the struggle for land after Nandigram.
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Monday, March 26, 2007
Members of revolutionary youth organization in Keralam attacked the Thrissur corporation secretary who is in charge of implementation of ADB (Asian Development Bank) agreement on Thrissur Corporation on the martyr day of Bhagat Singh. A group of youths approached the corporation secretary and one gave him a pamphlet while others smashed the official vehicles, wrote slogans of ADB GO BACK in the vehicles and pour black paint on his name board. Mean time, other section distributed pamphlets in the just outside the same compound. They shouted slogans against the imperialist agreements especially against ADB agreement, distributed pamphlets and dispersed before the arrival of huge contingent of police forces.Click on images for large high resolution images

There is a widespread dissatisfaction among the Kerala people against the dual stand of LDF, who took a stand against ADB agreement when they were in the opposition and when they came into rule they have given red carpet welcome for ADB and other imperialist institutions and programs.
The press release given by RYO blamed the Chief Minister Achuthanandan who had an image of hero of people’s struggles while he was the opposition leader, showed his real face of an imperialist servant. Now his government is going forward with all sorts of imperialist policies despite the strong protest from the progressive and democratic section of the Keralam. Instead of collecting tax from the defaulting plantation monopolies and other imperialist compradors which comes approximately 10000 crores now the Government is taking 1200 crore rupees from the World Bank for rural water supply program and now from thousand crores from ADB also. This is purely an imperialist conspiracy to burden the people with huge loans and exploiting them. This shows that there is no difference between the policies of LDF Government and Congress, BJP governments. Nandigram is a latest example of this.
Now the Left governments become dearer to the imperialists as they ensure efficient implementation of imperialist programs by effectively hushing up the rebellious sounds of the society with the help of their well organized goons and other machinery when they are in rule. All the ruling class left parties like CPI, CPI (M) and their youth organizations degenerated to the good servants of imperialist programs.
A section of intelligentsia is hopeful about a mere reformation of the conditions of the ADB and World Bank agreements. It will only serve the exploitation of the finance capital. Interestingly the same arguments were brought forwarded by the CPI (M) for bringing the FDI in Bengal and Keralam. We have to abolish all sort of imperialist capital from the Indian society for the well being of the toiling masses of our country. In this situation we have to follow the glowing path of anti imperialist struggles opened by the legendary heroes like Bhagat Singh and his comrades to defeat ADB and all the other imperialist institutions, agreements and programs.
Though this is only a symbolic struggle RYO calls on the youths of Keralam to unleash militant struggles like the roaring struggles of central and eastern parts of rural India to kick out imperialist capital from our country. This protest is only a small step to this direction. RYO secretary com. Ijas warns the LDf government that if they are planning to repeat Nandigram in Keralam, repressing democratic struggles with police bullets and cellars we will fight back against the imperialist policies with immense courage draw from the heroic struggles of Bhagat Singh and others.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

CPI(M)’s Kerala ADB Loan:
– V Shankar
There has always been much talk of the struggle between Kerala line vs Bengal line in the Communist Party of India (Marxist). This time we have, not a struggle between Kerala vs Bengal but a controversy between the active pro-liberalisation ‘young turks’ and the conventional, passive pro-liberalisation old guards in the CPI(M).

After a period of lull following the factional reconciliation over the choice of VS Achuthanandan as Kerala’s new CPM Chief Minister, the rift between the Achuthanandan and Vijayan factions has again started growing.

Pinarayi Vijayan, Politburo member and state secretary of the CPI(M) has earned the dubious distinction of perhaps being the first ever Politburo member of a Communist Party facing a CBI enquiry for corruption charges in the history of the Communist movement in the country. A recent Kerala High Court judgement has ordered a CBI enquiry into the SNC Lavalin scandal; in which Pinarayi Vijayan stands accused of having taken kickbacks to favour Lavalin over others offering a better deal, during his tenure as Power Minister in the previous LDF regime in the state. VS, who had campaigned hard against Coca Cola and ADB loan during the Assembly election last summer, now finds himself in the unenviable position of defending a huge $222.2 million (Rs. 995 crore) loan agreement his government has signed for the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDB) with the same ADB.

VS and his supporters claim that the agreement has been signed behind VS’ back on behalf of his government with the connivance of the Vijayan faction. This has resulted in an open rupture in the CPI(M) with VS supporters clashing with Vijayan supporters in VS’ native district, and even organizing a signature campaign against Vijayan – an act that amounts to indiscipline in the party. Finally, the Central Committee had to intervene to restore a semblance of unity by forming a 5-member advisory committee comprising the LDF convener as well, which is supposed to meet every week to iron out differences in running the Government. Prakash Karat has also admitted that contrary to the claims of the Vijayan faction and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, VS was indeed kept in the dark!

In West Bengal, the Haldia Development Authority issues a land acquisition notice that takes a toll of more than half a dozen lives. The Chief Minister and all senior Party leaders first deny that such a notice was at all issued and then Buddhadeb says it was a blunder and that he has asked the district administration to ‘tear up that piece of paper’! In Kerala a loan agreement is signed with the ADB and the Chief Minister claims he did not know about it! Who is the CPI(M) trying to befool? And if indeed these claims of ‘ignorance’ are true what has happened to the tenets of collective functioning within the CPI(M)? Or will the CPI(M) now agree that MNCs, big corporate houses and international financial institutions have developed their own lobbies within CPI(M)-led governments?

No matter whether VS was in the dark or not, the ADB loan has major adverse implications for the nature of governance and social sector spending in Kerala. Prakash Karat says that the party is not against taking loan from any bank in principle, including ADB, as long as Structural Adjustment strings are not attached. The fact is that no loan or aid from such international institutions comes without direct or indirect conditionalities, but the CPI(M) naturally needs to keep alive a fiction to the contrary. ADB loans in particular are known to carry conditionalities like increased private participation, privatisation and commercialisation of public utilities, creation of a flexible labour force, etc. Finance Minister Thomas Isaac is however thrilled that the ADB conditionalities in case of the KSUDB loan are less harsh than in the case of the Kolkata Environmental Projects!

The Bank, according to Isaac, has ‘conceded’ that user charges for water will be levied from municipalities instead of individual consumers in the beginning. This is certainly not a guarantee that user charges will not be directly levied on individual users ever. Even otherwise, it does not carry any meaning because the municipalities will levy the very same user charges on the very same people in any case. How else can the municipality or the state government raise funds to repay the loan?

The first blow of the loan conditions will be in the form of liberalizing the control of Kerala Water Authority (KWA). The process of redefining the role of KWA into an enabling regulatory framework and agency to facilitate private sector participation has already begun. The role of KWA will in future be only to ‘regulate’ the private players in their search for profit and loot of public resources like water.

The loan is also an attack on the autonomy of the state and the municipal corporations (the loan initially targets the five corporations of Kochi, Kollam, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur) that will not be allowed to prioritise their annual budgets and revenue mobilization according to their own political and economic considerations. Rather, these will be dictated by the ADB in the interests of private players and multinational corporations. Moreover, ‘consultants’ will have to be appointed – chosen not by the State but by the Bank – at a cost of $10.2 million (Rs 46 crore). The state also loses its right to have bilateral negotiations with other financial agencies.

Most importantly, the tariff and taxes will have to be increased and fixed according to the directive of the ADB. Even the people below poverty line (BPL) will not be spared. All existing street taps will now be metered with no budget for new installations.

By all indications, the fabled Kerala model of development is now giving way to ADB-driven governance. This would mean, among other things, a serious drop in social spending and greater commercialisation of critical sectors like education, health and hygiene. Ironically, the undoing of the ‘Kerala model’ gathers momentum at a time when renowned economist Prabhat Patnaik, who has been the biggest proponent of the Kerala model calling it the greatest marvel of Marxist theory and practice in India, happens to be the chairperson of the state planning board.

On December 28, 2006 more thgan 100 organisations joined hands to form the People’s Forum against ADB (PFADB) and press for annulment of the KSUDP loan. The PFADB has pointed out ADB’s dismal record in urban development as borne out in two previous ADB projects in Karnataka. It has also pointed to various possibilities of internal resource mobilisation in Kerala including tapping the state’s vast reserve of foreign exchange remittances from Keralites working abroad.

Sunday, February 18, 2007
KALPETTA: The 37th anniversary of martyrdom of Naxal Varghese, the revolutionary who was killed by police in the Thirunelli forests, would be observed on Sunday.According to the district committee of the CPI-ML (Red Flag), PN Salimkumar, leader of the organisation, would hoist the flag at the martyr’s column at Ozhukkanmoola, near Mananthavadi on Sunday morning.

State leaders of the organisation PC Unni-checkan, KT Kunhikkannan, Vijayan Kuzhiveli and Kunnel Krishnan would participate in the public function to be organised at the Gandhi Park, Mananthavadi, on Sunday evening.

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