Idukki (Kerala): A senior CPI-M leader facing murder charges after a controversial statement that his party had eliminated its political foes in the past on Wednesday failed to appear before the SIT for questioning even as the party faced further embarrassment with another functionary asking cadre to store chilli water to use it against police coming for probe.

In more trouble for the embattled CPI-M leadership in Kerala, another party leader was booked on the charge of threatening police probing an IUML worker's murder.

CPI-M Idukki District Secretary M M Mani, whose statement at a recent public meeting on elimination of foes has landed him and the party in trouble, failed to comply with the police summons to appear before the Special Investigation Team probing political murders since the 1980s but deputed his lawyers to explain his position.

Mani moved the high court seeking quashing of the case, contending it was 'wrong and illegal' to file FIR on the basis of a speech. Senior Advocate, M K Damodaran, appearing for Mani, said his client's speech was 'reckless', but the act of the state was 'more reckless'

Director General of Prosecutions T Asaf Ali said a detailed probe was necessary on the basis of disclosures made by Mani to find out details of the remaining 10 persons in the list (of political foes) allegedly prepared by CPIM as stated by him in his speech. The hearing will continue on Thursday.

After Mani's stunning remarks, the SIT was set up by the Congress-led UDF Government to probe political murders in Idukki district in the 1980s.


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