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18 Aug 2019, Edition - 1496, Sunday

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India News

Idukki custodial death deepens CPM-CPI wedge

Jayashankar

Kochi: Ruling buddies CPM and CPI are at war in Idukki after the death of financial fraud accused Rajkumar due to police torture.

The CPI is demanding suspension and interrogation of district police chief KB Venugopal while the CPM is not for it.

Instead, Venugopal has been transferred by the government as the head of the anti-terror squad.

The CPI leadership in Idukki sees this as a move by the CPM to protect Venugopal whose grilling would spill the beans on the involvement of political leaders in the case.

This has created a headache for the LDF Government in which CPM and CPI are partners.

The two have seen ups and downs since the formation of the government. CPI state chief Kanam Rajendran had taken strong steps on some occasions, even threatening the survival of the government.

On this issue, Kanam refused to intervene and said the CPI had its own ideology and outlook.

But this time, the issue caught the attention of the entire State and people are keenly watching the development.

The CPI has taken marches in the district in support of its demands. Led by district chief KK Sivaraman, it is making full use of the situation to paint CPM black.

Things have become dirtier with Power Minister MM Mani making irritating statements against Sivaraman and the CPI and he asked CPI to join hands in its protests.

The CPI is also utilising the situation to expose Mani who is believed to have taken keen interest in getting the deposits of the people back from Rajkumar’s financial company.

CPM and CPI had fought in the past during Munnar eviction carried out by the then Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan.

CPM leader S Rajendran, MLA, told The Covai Post that CPI was making attempts to become more popular by trying to outplay CPM. CPI had witnessed a number of its cadre migrating to CPM some time back, he said and felt the present move could be a tactic to win back its lost prestige in the district.

The crime branch has arrested a station house officer and three junior cops in connection with the Rajkumar issue.

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