TP Chandrasekharan murder: UDF says speaker 'scared' to discuss LDF 'seeking remission' for convicts

The Congress-led UDF opposition on Tuesday accused the Kerala assembly speaker of being "scared" to discuss the issue of the Left government allegedly considering sentence remission of some of the convicts in the sensational T P Chandrasekharan murder case of 2012.
UDF's comments on Kerala assembly speaker
UDF's comments on Kerala assembly speaker

Thiruvananthapuram | The Congress-led UDF opposition on Tuesday accused the Kerala assembly speaker of being "scared" to discuss the issue of the Left government allegedly considering sentence remission of some of the convicts in the sensational T P Chandrasekharan murder case of 2012.

Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the State Assembly V D Satheesan accused Speaker A N Shamseer of being scared after the chair prevented him from completing his speech following the denial of permission to the UDF's motion to adjourn the house to discuss the issue.

Shamseer denied permission to the UDF motion moved by Congress's Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, claiming that it was clear that the government has made no attempt to grant remission to any of the convicts in the case.

The speaker, however, permitted the issue to be raised in the house as a submission.

In response to the speaker's decision, Satheesan criticised Shamseer's comments as "inappropriate," saying that it was not the speaker's duty to speak on behalf of the state government.

He said that the opposition has proof that the government considered giving remission to some of the convicts in the case. "We have a letter from the government to the police commissioner seeking a report with regard to providing remission," he claimed.

While Satheesan was speaking, Shamseer said the LoP cannot be allowed to continue talking about the issue as it has been raised in the house several times, and his microphone was thereafter switched off.

Responding to the stand taken by the speaker, Satheesan alleged, "You are scared." Following this exchange, many UDF MLAs trooped into the well of the house shouting slogans against the speaker, and stood before his dais.

They also shouted slogans against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the ruling CPI(M) in the state.

The protesting MLAs also held placards, some of which said "You can kill, but you cannot defeat" -- the substance of the famous Ernest Hemingway line in the novel 'The Old Man and the Sea'.

As the protesting MLAs did not heed the speaker's repeated requests to return to their seats, Shamseer said that the house would continue with its business.

Thereafter, the house passed the demands for grants in the budget for the financial year 2024-2025 under the heads of Medical and Public Health and Family Welfare.

Subsequently, the speaker concluded the proceedings for the day and said the house would resume on Wednesday morning.

Later, the opposition held a press conference on the issue in the assembly's media room where they told reporters that the state government was allegedly afraid of the convicts in the case.

Satheesan said that the government was scared as the convicts were allegedly blackmailing them by threatening to reveal the conspiracy behind Chandrasekharan's killing.

He also said that in 2018, the government passed an order saying those convicted for political killings will get no remission till they complete 14 years in prison.

"In 2022, the government passed a new order by which this prohibition was removed and it also paved the way for grant of more parole to such convicts," Satheesan alleged.

He said that if the government goes ahead with this move, Kerala will witness protests like never seen before and the CM and other ministers would not be able to step outside.

Deputy LoP P K Kunhalikutty and Chandrasekharan's widow K K Rema too slammed the government's decision at the press conference.

Rema also said that the opposition will also meet the Governor on the issue.

The Kerala government's purported move to grant remission to three of the 12 convicts sentenced to life in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case of 2012 had on Saturday kicked off a political storm in the state with the Congress-led UDF and the BJP criticising the Left administration over it.

The UDF had said that it was a "strange" decision on the part of the government as considering the convicts for remission would be a violation of the high court verdict denying it to them.

The opposition had also said that it clearly indicates that the government was trying to protect the criminals who hacked Chandrasekharan 51 times to kill him.

While handing out life sentences to the 12 convicts in the case, the high court in its February 27 order had said that nine of them would not be entitled to remission before completing 20 years of imprisonment.

Of the nine, T K Rajeesh, K K Muhammed Shafi and S Sijith are the three convicts being purportedly considered for remission.

Rema had earlier said that the jail superintendent on his own could not have taken this decision without the knowledge and backing of Chief Minister Vijayan, who is also in-charge of the Home Department.

The BJP had said that the government move was not surprising.

Chandrasekharan (52), leader of the Revolutionary Marxist Party, was hacked to death by a gang while he was returning home on his bike in 2012.

The then United Democratic Front (UDF) government in Kerala had constituted a special investigation team to probe the case.

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