A very clever move, aimed at obfuscating the issue of the role of political parties and police forces in the killing of an accused in a case. That's what I suspect to have happened with the Kerala Government, leaving the investigation a judicial category.
Chief Minister Pinarai Vijayan held a press conference announcing this. The inquiry report will be submitted in six months. This is in sharp contrast with the demand of the Opposition Congress in Assembly. At that time, the government had not agreed to it. This seems strange, by the look of it.
But it's a clever move. For six Assembly seats, elections will be held soon. The CPM has to win or will be doomed. The investigation into Rajkumar's murder has not included how much money was at stake, who the real movers in the deal are, whether they included CPM and Congress low-level leaders. What is the exact role of the Malapuram-based firm in cheating the people of Idukki?
Call it a crafty or devious move to divert people's attention. The move will succeed. Any Chief Minister would have or could have done it and saved the careers of many policemen. That is a history of sort. We as citizens are bound to witness that. Media cannot do anything in this matter, for the media's primary job is to highlight the events of the day.
Another point is why had the government agreed to a judicial probe which it had rejected in the Assembly when Congress had sought it. It would seem a victory for the Congress. But the fact is both Congress and CPM have close links with the Malapuram firm. This issue has been sidelined.
Shalini and Manjusha who have been involved in the case of cheating the people along with Rajkumar now have been granted bail by the court. They seem be to be absconding. Why is it not known? This makes the case a little more devious. In the case pertaining to the detention of Rajkumar who was in custody for four days much against the Supreme Court verdict which says police custody limit is one day. Not only that, police are obliged to inform the higher ups, including the DSP, about the arrest. The DSP is supposed to inform higher ups. In short the police as a whole is guilty in the murder of Rajkumar, I heard it on TV yesterday. No wonder there is the demand for immediate action against the DSP of Idukki. He has been accused of a role by one of the arrested policemen in court. No action has been taken against him. He is alleged to have very good relations with Mani the minister from Idukki. How far will this non-action go? Congress is demanding stern action against the DSP and the ruling party is mum.
Our Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was subject to heavy police atrocities during Emergency days. He survived that. It is very important that such a person is in charge of the police now but the police have not been changed wee bit from those days, it seems. Pinarayi has said there is no tolerance of people guilty of the murder of Rajkumar. It remains to be seen how Pinarayi reacts to the issue now. How the Opposition, especially the Congress, reacts to the issue remains to be seen. How the policemen headed by people who have the CPM and the Congress as their political leadership remains to be seen. It is beyond my ken, like most journalists. We have to report the event of the day and that's all we can do. As the investigation progresses politicians will say unprintable words against the ruling party. The ruling party will retaliate in sharper words.
This drama has been going on since Independence. We have no choice. Same is the case with the four policemen who have been charged with murder. The same will be the case against many of us. Time will pass . Events will be repeated ad nauseum .
This has happened in the case of the Emergency. Karunakaran had to quit as Chief Minister, following the killing of an engineering college student Rajan. His body has never been traced. We people shouted against Karunakaran. When he died, we all shed tears for him; the great Kerala leader as we called him. All Congressmen joined in the good words spoken about Karunakaran , including Ommen Chandy. Now he is forgotten.
The same can be said about KM Mani. When he died Kerala Congress workers and Congressmen and CPM men and BJP men and the Muslim League men shed crocodile tears. Now the party is in dire trouble. All those who spoke the nicest of words about Mani spoke the harshest words against him when he was alive.
The same can be said about our leaders Gandhi, Nehru, Indira and people like them. That seems to be our culture; there is no way we can overcome it.
This is not something that Pinarayi has learnt on his own; it is something that politics teaches everyone. Speak the harshest words against the culprits but do something that will save the accused and their cronies. Unfortunately, Pinarayi is in dire trouble; the image of his party is down and it is going to face Assembly polls in six seats.
All said and done the untold alliance with the Congress on major issues like the killing of Rajkumar and the fight between them shown in the Assembly is a typical one. Poor Rajkumar, an unread man, had to die an unmourned death except by his relatives.
The accused policemen will not go scot-free; they will pay the utmost against other policemen who may go scot-free. That is the history of Kerala. For example the Kevin case in Kottayam and the murder case in Ernakulam. KB Venugopal, the DSP, and Sabu, the inspector, will be forgotten as Rajkumar. Venugopal and Sabu presumably will become friends like all policemen. Pinarayi and leaders of the Congress and the BJP will become public enemies but friends in private. This is Kerala history; no way of undoing it or defying it.