Thiruvananthapuram, June 12 (IANS) The Kerala assembly was plunged into chaos Tuesday as an adamant opposition demanded that P.K. Basheer, a first-time legislator of the Indian Union Muslim League, (IUML) be arrested after he was named as an accused in a twin murder case.
According to police, brothers Azad and Abubacker were Sunday night hacked to death by a gang at the Arikode market in Malappuram district.
Police have registered a case based on the statements given by the murdered brothers' family members who have said that Basheer was part of a conspiracy behind their murders.
Basheer had made an inflammatory speech earlier this month that the IUML would hit back against those who had killed A. Rehman, an IUML activist, in January after a clash erupted at a football tournament in Malappuram.
The house was adjourned for an hour after Speaker G.Karthikeyan found it difficult to carry on with the proceedings of the house with the entire opposition on its feet, demanding that Basheer be arrested.
Soon after the house reassembled, Leader of Opposition V.S.Achuthanandan reiterated that the opposition would be unable to cooperate as long as Basheer was in the house and hence they were boycotting the day's proceedings.
But when the opposition members remained in the house shouting slogans, the speaker rushed through the proceedings and adjourned the house for the day.
Earlier in the day, soon after question hour, former home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan sought leave for an adjournment motion on the issue of the twin murders that took place Sunday night in Malappuram district.
"The home minister and the chief minister are protecting the person who should be arrested after he was named in the first information report and is sitting in the house. If it was a legislator from the opposition ranks, you would have set the law in motion and arrested him," said Balakrishnan.
Replying to Balakrishnan's demand, Home Minister T.Radhakrishnan said that he assured the house that an impartial inquiry had been initiated and one should wait for it before making any unreasonable demands.
"If one has to arrest anyone based on a speech, then you should understand that numerous arrests would have to be made. We will wait for the impartial enquiry that is currently on," said Radhakrishnan, and added that the motion need not be taken up.
Then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy got up and said irrespective of party affiliations, the law would take its course and no one would be allowed to take law into their hands.
"The FIR clearly mentions that the legislator was not present at the place of crime nor was he part of the team that did the crime. Just because one's name is there in the first information statement, none can be arrested," Chandy said.
"If we were to take your claims that he should be arrested, can we make this as the rule of the land? If we do that, it would be against all the present rules and laws, and hence we cannot go ahead with it and we will wait for the investigation to be over," he added.
The opposition is using the Malappuram twin murder case to put pressure on the Chandy government as the police, investigating the murder of 51-year-old former CPI-M leader T.P. Chandrasekheran, are closing down on the top brass of the CPI-M in Kannur district.
When the opposition was up in arms on the floor of the assembly, former CPI-M legislator and party district secretary P. Jayarajan arrived in Kannur before the probe team for questioning in another murder case, where many of the arrested are CPI-M grass root leaders and activists.