The verdict comes as a major blow to the Left Front in Kerala.
The murder had created a political turmoil in the state as the party alleged that CPI(M) planned and executed the murder. The prosecution case was that a seven member gang was given the task of eliminating Chandrashekaran by the CPI (M) leaders.
The CPI(M) has denied the allegations but the accused included CPI (M) district committee, local committee and branch committee members. P Mohanan, the 14th accused in the case is a district committee member and wife of MLA KK Lathika. There are 36 accused in the case of which six are CPI (M) leaders, the charges against them are of criminal conspiracy and murder.
Rama, the wife of TP, had stated that she would continue her fight for justice even if the verdict is unfavourable.
Security beefed up in the state
Ahead of the verdict, security has been beefed up in the district to avoid any clashed or untoward incidents. Regulatory orders are in place from January 21 to 25 and as part of it there won't be permissions to hold marches or protests.
The lead to the murder
Chandrashekaran, a former CPI (M) worker, reportedly earned the wrath of the official faction after he left the party in 2009 owing to a spat with the leaders. He was fighting against the dissolution in party ideologies and the right-wing opportunism.
However, even after breaking away from the party, he was close to opposition leader VS Achuthanandan, who even after the former's death has maintained that Chandrashekaran was a brave communist. Meanwhile, the party secretary Pinarayi Vijayan called TP a traitor.
Achuthanandan's stand in the issue had actually put the party in a difficult situation as he visited Chandrashekharan's residence at the day of the Neyyatinkara by-election.
According to the prosecution case, the seven member gang hacked TP, who was on his bike, on May 4, 2012 at Vallikkad near Onchiyam in Kozhikode district.
According to the reports he had about 51 injuries on his body as part of the stabbing. His face was mutilated beyond recognition.
The chargesheet was filed within 90 days of murder. Initially there were 76 accused, of which the trial of 15 has been stayed by the high court, 22 have been acquitted due to lack of evidence, 2 are absconding and one accused is dead. The number of accused now is 36. Total witnesses of the prosecution were 166 of which 52 turned hostile. Trial process began on February 11, 2013 and hearing closed on December 20, 2013.
(With agency inputs)