A Special Investigation Team (SIT) surprised MM Mani by turning up at his house in Kunhithanni around 5 a.m. Last week, the SIT had asked him to inform them of his willingness to appear for the test by today.
However, Mani averred that a polygraph test should not be done on him since he has been suffering from asthma for a long time. He pointed out that the courts do not accept the results of such a test anyway.
This prompted the SIT to plan a top secret operation and take him into custody when both he and the CPI-M least expected it. Ironically, Mani's boast about how the party's rivals were systematically eliminated back in the 1980s led to his arrest.
At a public meeting in Manakkad on May 26, he described in detail how one person who tried to start a Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) unit in the Santhanpara and Rajakkad areas of Idukki district was shot dead. Mani added that another person was beaten to death and the third stabbed fatally.
His stunning disclosures came at a time when the CPI-M was under the scanner for its alleged role in the brutal murder of Marxist dissident TP Chandrashekharan on May 4.
Even after senior leaders of the party were booked for conspiring to kill Chandrashekharan, the CPI-M continued to claim that they were being falsely implicated in the ghastly crime.
Forced onto the back foot by his controversial revelations, the party removed Mani from the post of Idukki district secretary and also suspended him from the state committee.
Though the CPI-M leadership strenously denied ever having physically eliminated their political opponents, the Kerala police registered murder cases against Mani and some other functionaries of the party.
Today's denouement is therefore not at all surprising. The CPI-M has called for a hartal tomorrow in Idukki but it remains to be seen whether the party's district-wide protests against Mani's arrest will succeed in convincing the people that it did not do any wrong.