A former member of CPM, who later joined NDF, 30-year-old Mohammed Fazal, was hacked to death in Kerala’s Thalassery in 2006. The State Crime Branch initially investigated the murder case and later handed it over to the CBI following the direction of the High Court on a writ petition filed by Mariyu, Fazal’s wife.
During the investigation by Kerala police, CPM tried to implicate RSS-BJP workers in this murder. But the transfer of this case to the CBI was a huge setback to the party.
The murder happened on October 22, 2006. On the very same day, the CPM leader and the then home minister of Kerala Kodiyeri Balakrishnan rushed to the spot and, with no investigation, declared that RSS workers were behind the murder. At 10 AM, a peace meeting was called, and the NDF unilaterally accused RSS of the murder. Sensing a larger conspiracy to malign its image, RSS called for an impartial investigation.
DYSP Radhakrishnan started the investigation on October 23 and took 3 CPM workers to custody for questioning on October 25. On the same day, Kodiyeri ordered the transfer of the investigation from DYSP Radhakrishnan. Later, the police officer was attacked by the CPM goons, and he was under treatment for a long time. On October 30, the case was transferred to the crime branch.
Fazal’s wife went to the Kerala High Court for a CBI inquiry on February 4 2007. But on February 12, the case was disposed of after the police assured that the culprits would be arrested soon. On 2007 April 11, Crime Branch SP Rajmohan took over the investigation and arrested three CPM goons, 1) Kodi Suni, 2) Biju, and 3) Jitesh.
Again, Fazal’s wife filed a petition at the Kerala High Court seeking a CBI enquiry on February 14, 2008. CPM filed an appeal against this in the division bench but got rejected. Later, the Supreme Court also ordered a CBI inquiry on July 6, 2010. Later, the CBI added three more people to the list of culprits, and they were – 4) Arundas, 5) Kalesh, and 6) Arunkumar. Local CPM secretary Karayi Rajan, and Local Secretary Karayi Chandrasekharan was also booked under section 120 for conspiring to murder.
The CPM had feared that after Fazal’s exit from the party, more Muslim youth would leave CPM. With his murder, the CPM expected a win-win situation, and the blame would be shifted to the RSS, and more Muslim youth could be inducted to CPM.
After CPM leaders got involved in the case, the party started to use their propaganda machinery. The party appointed two DYSPs, 1). Sadanandan and 2). Prince Abraham, to create fake evidence. The police, along with CPM goons, tortured a BJP worker and made his confession statement. But later, the confession was proven to be bogus.
In the report submitted by the CBI, it is pointed that the allegation against the RSS was “not right” and backed its initial probe report, which indicated the involvement of CPI (M) leaders. The CBI report also says that the revelation made by Subheesh in police custody was a forced one.
Subheesh had reportedly confessed to the police that RSS functionaries, including himself, murdered Fazal. Later, Subheesh had retracted from the statement and alleged the police tortured him into confessing.
While commenting on the CBI report, Prajna Pravah National Convenor J. Nandakumar said, “Left Govt is using investigative agencies for political vendetta. It’s nothing but fascist character of communist regime for which state machinery is an instrument to target political opponents. Fazal case is a classic example of Communist manipulation.”
“Under the left govt of Kerala, the state police have lost their credibility. The findings of CBI have given substance to the allegations that a CPM fraction is functioning inside state police force. Politicisation of independent govt agencies by Communists must be opposed at any cost as it poses severe threat to democracy and our constitutional rights. The judiciary and central govt must ensure that Communists don’t misuse state power and hijack state institutions and agencies,” he added.
The Fazal Murder case is a classic example of CPM using its party system to terminate its political opponents and using government machinery to implicate other party members of the same crimes.