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PC Punnen
PC Punnen
In My View

Kerala shows how law can be nullified!

P.C. Punnen

Two girls, aged less than fifteen, breathed their last two years ago in Walayar in Palghat district. Their end happened with a break of 52 days. Whether or not they committed suicide or were murdered is a matter of dispute between the major parties. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said in the Assembly that the government is ready to offer a further investigation or a CBI probe in the cases. That could be considered a very clever move to divert people's attention.

Again the killing of four Naxalites could be considered of the same strategy. The CPI has said the killing of Naxalites should be investigated. The CPI is the second largest party in the CPM- led LDF.

In the Walayar case can there be a further investigation for the second time? A matter that is doubtful. Opinions differ on this issue between noted lawyers. The fact is the way the Walayar case was brought to the judge is a revelation of the changes that Kerala has undergone in the last few decades. The prosecutor and the investigating officer have, it is evident, not taken the case seriously for reasons that are political. They were acting in aid of the CPM's cadres. Kerala police has suspended the man who investigated the case, the prosecutor has been changed. The Congress and the other opposition parties including the BJP have raised the issue in the Assembly and Pinarayi Vijayan as Home Minister replied stating that the government is willing for a further investigation or a CBI probe.

The postmortem report has said that a murder should be suspected in the case but police have ignored it. The court let off the accused saying that the prosecution couldn't provide enough evidence. This is a serious case where the judges cannot be blamed but the prosecutor and the police have to answer the public. It shows that they acted in cahoots with the CPM's small guys. That is not what they were expected to do. It speaks volumes for the change Kerala has seen in the past 3 decades. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Pinarayi Vijayan should have ensured that such an event did not happen. It shows that dreaded criminals can be the party’s supporters and that the police and the prosecution do not care much for integrity or uprightness. This was not the case in Kerala until recently. The people respected CPM for the values it stood for. Now it has failed to be no better than the Congress and the BJP or some other states where murder of dozens do not matter much.

      The case can be further investigated if what some lawyers say is possible. That is the hope for Keralites. The parents of the deceased met chief minister Pinarayi the other day and according to reports they were confident of getting justice. That will remain a pipedream I fear. The two Madhus who were brought to the police station were freed because the CPM members had talks with the police, says a witness in the case.

In short the Walayar case, Periya case, the Naxalite killing, the Abhaya case and the Marad case, are examples of injustice being meted out or those guilty getting freed.

The Thunderbolt which was formed during the Congress regime is said to have killed the four Naxalites who were, according to the residents of the area, shot to death. The police say the Thunderbolt firing took place in retaliation to the attack by Naxalites. A CPI team has gone to the place to assess the situation. That was a case of shooting below the belt; why did Naxalites attack the police, who will believe that? There is a report that they were in talks with the police for surrender. These are issues which can be debated ad nauseam.

Achuthanandan, the CPM's oldest member, has said the police conduct is in doubt. He has written to the chief minister says a report. Be that as it may, Kerala has changed. Gone are the days when we the citizens had high hopes in the government and the police. They seem to be of the same lot as other state governments or policemen in other states. The same may be said about our caste and religious leaders like Vellapally Natesan of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Sangham or G Sukumaran Nair of the Nair Service Society or the Orthodox and Jacobite bishops. They are of the same lot. The difference between the CPM and the Congress or the BJP is nothing substantial. All have the same mindset, to gather the same influence or power or money.

The least said the better about them who give their support based on their calculations. They have no sense of shame when the voters defy them. Time will come when the parties kiss and make up as the elections get nearer. Strategy and tactic to win elections will replace ideology and the horrendous incidents of the recent past will be forgotten. This was evident in the last 5 by elections held in Kerala. They will soon forget their animosities and form their alliances with major parties.

In short, we Keralites have to think of better ways to attain our hopes. The politicians have let us down; the bureaucrats are no better than sheer money seekers. This Walayar case will be forgotten in due time. The media will be busy with the events of the day. For example the Jolly case and the Thiruvananthapuram case where members of a highly placed Nair family are suspected of heinous crimes.

That is Kerala's history; not one made by noted writers but one where knee-jerk statements are counted; for a short while.

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(The facts and views expressed in the article are that of the author.)