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Ker HC orders CBI probe into killing of Youth Cong workers;

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Press Trust of India Kochi
Slamming the police for its "faulty" investigation, the Kerala High Court on Monday ordered a CBI probe into the killing of two Youth Congress workers allegedly by CPI(M) activists in Kasargod this year, as the Congress and BJP tore into the left government demanding Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's resignation.
Justice B Sudheendra Kumar's order came on a petition by the parents of the two slain youths-- Sarath Lal and Kripesh-- who were attacked and hacked to death while returning home after attending a function on February 17.
The court also set aside the charge sheet filed by the Crime Branch wing of the Kerala Police which investigated the case.
Alleging that the LDF government had taken all steps to help the accused, Leader of the opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the chief minister should resign following the court ordering CBI probe in the case.
"The chief minister cannot continue in office even for a moment," Chennithala told reporters at Thiruvanathapuram.
BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai said the verdict was a slap on the CM's face and he should publicly apologise to the people.
The parents of the slain youths had sought a CBI probe into their killing.
The court observed that the probe by the Crime Branch was "faulty".
Finding fault with the probe, the court said forensic expert was not questioned and police believed the version of the first accused as gospel truth.
It said that those who participated in the conspiracy was not arraigned as accused and dismissed the prosecution version that the incident took place on account of personal vendetta.
"It is a political murder. All the accused are leaders of a political party. The twin murder is a planned one," the court observed as it transferred the investigation to the CBI.
The state government had opposed the plea, saying a CBI probe was not warranted in the case as the Crime Branch had investigated the case in a detailed manner despite lack of any eye-witnesses.
Expressing unhappiness over the Crime Branch probe, the petitioners submitted that it was "eye-wash, tainted and malafide and one-sided".
The entire investigation team was re-constituted with officers loyal to the CPI(M), the petitioners alleged.
Alleging that the police machinery was controlled by the Left party, the petitioners said they had no faith in the present investigation, which was "totally partial and one-sided and defective".
A local party leader A Peethambaran was arrested in connection with the killing of the two activists. Subsequently, the CPI-M Kasaragod district committee expelled him from the party.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the party state leadership had earlier said it had no role in the killings and that the party never promoted violence.
Rahul Gandhi had visited the homes of the two slain activists when he arrived in the state to officially launch the party's Lok Sabha poll campaign in March.

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First Published: Sep 30 2019 | 8:20 PM IST

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