The Kerala High Court recently observed that the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) are extremist organisations indulging in serious acts of violence. It, however, added that these organisations are not banned.
The bench of Justice K Haripal made the observation while rejecting a petition seeking the transfer of a case pertaining to the murder of an RSS worker from the Kerala Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The petition was moved by S Arshika, the widow of RSS worker A Sanjith who was hacked to death allegedly by a gang of PFI and SDPI activists in Palakkad on November 15 last year.
“For the reason that the SDPI/PFI activists were behind the killing, there is no justification in seeking transfer of the investigation to the CBI. No doubt, SDPI and PFI are extremist organisations indulging in serious acts of violence. All the same, those are not banned organisations,” the court said in its order on May 5.
“After considering the materials placed before the court and hearing the counsel on both sides, I am also of the opinion that overwhelming reasons are not set out for transferring the investigation to the CBI. The Special Investigation Team, with the least possible delay, identified the culprits and arrested the main accused and also the main conspirators and laid the chargesheet, so that their release on default bail has been successfully pre-empted,” the court observed.
It also noted that the investigating officer has denied the involvement of state-level or national-level leaders in the murder of the RSS worker. Directing the state police chief to review the progress of the probe, the court posted the matter to May 30. Of the 20 accused in the case, nine are yet to be arrested.
The petitioner had sought the CBI probe alleging that Sanjith’s death was the result of a larger criminal conspiracy hatched among activists of the SDPI and PFI, but the investigating agency had not conducted a proper, effective and timely investigation into the crime.
The police had found that the brutal attack against Sanjith was triggered by another attack on SDPI activist Sakeer Hussain in 2021. It was alleged that Hussain was attacked with the knowledge of Sanjith.