The Central Bureau of Investigation team in Kochi has filed charges against 24 people in the Periya double murder case. Peethambaran, a member of the CPM’s local committee, and former Udma MLA KV Kuniharaman were among the 24 people charged in the case. Previously, the Crime Branch named 14 suspects, and the CBI, which took over the investigation, added 10 more suspects to the list.
The accused were charged with conspiracy, murder, destroying evidence, and unlawful gathering under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code. Nineteen of the 24 accused were charged with murder and conspiracy. Others are accused of destroying evidence and unlawful detention. Ex-MLA Kunhiraman was charged with unlawful apprehension for assisting the accused in fleeing the police.
So far, 19 people have been arrested in connection with the case. CBI apprehended 5 CPM employees the other day. However, their arrest has not yet been documented. During this time, the five accused have been attempting to obtain anticipatory bail from the High Court.
“It was alleged that on February 17, 2019, between 18.00 hours and 19.45 hours, Kripesh and Sarat Lal, alias Koorangara Joshy, two leaders of one political party (Congress), were brutally murdered by workers of another political party (CPM) at Kaliyatt in Periya village due to political enmity,” CBI spokesperson R C Joshi said.
The state police’s crime branch filed a charge sheet against 14 accused on May 20, 2019, but the parents of the victims petitioned the high court, expressing their dissatisfaction with the police’s findings, according to officials.