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17 of 26 PFI men get bail over RSS member’s killing | India News

KOCHI: The high court on Tuesday granted bail to 17 of the 26 accused in the Palakkad Sreenivasan murder case — all members of Popular Front of India (PFI). However, the court denied bail to the other nine accused, considering the gravity of the charges against them.
The bench of Justices A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and V M Syam Kumar was considering the appeals filed by the accused against the NIA special court order which had earlier rejected their bail pleas.
K S Sreenivasan, an RSS leader, was brutally murdered at Melamuri Junction in Palakkad town on April 16, 2022, allegedly by PFI cadres.
The case, initially investigated by police, was transferred to the NIA based on information received by the Union govt. The information suggested that office bearers and cadres of PFI and its affiliates in Kerala had conspired to instigate communal violence and radicalize their members to commit terrorist acts in Kerala and other parts of the country. The Sreenivasan murder case was one of the incidents that led to the declaration of PFI as an unlawful association.
Of the 51 named accused, 44 were arrested and seven are absconding. One of the detained individuals has since died. The NIA filed the chargesheet in the case in the NIA special court at Kochi, in March 2023.
The division bench denied bail to the nine accused after observing that the accusations against them were prima facie true, corroborated by evidence. They allegedly had direct involvement in the murder like harbouring the assailants, providing weapons, and supervising arms training for the cadres at Periyar Valley Trust in Aluva and Karunya Trust in Karunagappally, among other activities.
HC said there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the accusations against the other 17 accused were prima facie true. The court noted that some of them had been in jail for over a year and some for more than two years, with no imminent conclusion to their trials in sight.
The court ordered that those granted bail must present themselves before the special court, which will determine the bail conditions. The bench also imposed stringent conditions, including that they must keep the GPS location status of their mobile phones active 24 hours a day. Their phones must be paired with that of the NIA investigating officer to enable the officer to identify their exact location at any given time. They are each allowed to use only one mobile number during the bail period. They can’t leave the state without the special court’s permission.
Bail was granted to K Ali, Fayaz, Akbar Ali, Nishad, K T Rasheed, Saidali, Muhammed Mubarak, Sadik, M H Shihas, M M Mujeeb, Nejimudheen, T S Sainudeen, P K Usman, C T Sulaiman, Muhammed Rizwan, Ashfaq and Abdul Kabeer.
Those denied bail are Saddam Hussain, Ashraf, M Naushad, Ashraf Moulavi, E P Ansari, E K Muhammed Ali, Yahiya Koya Thangal, C A Abdul Raoof and Abdul Sathar.

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