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Minister Mercykutty shielding murder accused staffer: Congress

Minister Mercykutty shielding murder accused staffer: Congress

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress party in Kerala has accused State Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma of behaving irresponsibly by defending one of her staff members who was arrested by the CBI in a murder case.

Maxin was arrested on Tuesday along with CPI-M's Kollam district committee member K. Babu Panikkar and party youth leader Riyaz, for the April 2010 murder case of local Congress leader Ramabhadran, who was hacked to death by a group of people at his house in front of his family members.

Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, Amma said that an arrest does not mean he is guilty and hence will not be removed.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala expressed surprise at her defence and said that through this statement she has proved that she is not fit to hold the post of Minister.

"Her statement shows that she is shielding her staff member who has been arrested and sent to judicial custody. It's shocking to hear that she is allowing him to continue as a staffer," said Chennithala.

The local police first conducted a probe, which was later handed over to the Crime Branch. But the victim's wife was unhappy with the slow progress in the probe and hence approached the Kerala High Court to seek a CBI probe.

At first, the CBI refused to take up the probe, but later took it up following a directive from the court.

Reacting to the CBI's actions, Communist Party of India-Marxist Kollam District Secretary K.N. Balagopal said that involving the CBI was politically motivated.

"We will deal with the case legally and will tell people how the CBI is being misused," said Balagopal.

Meanwhile, the CBI, which is expecting to arrest a few more persons, has now called in another senior CPI-M leader S. Jayamohan, who is also Chairman of the state-owned Kerala Cashew Development Corporation.

Kollam district in Kerala is the stronghold of the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) which won all the 11 assembly seats in the district.

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