Meet Manichan, the abkari contractor who was awarded life imprisonment along with his two brothers, vendor Hayarunnisa in the sensational serial hooch tragedies in the state which killed 36 persons and disabled nearly 100 others in October, 2000.
Newspapers has alleged that almost a dozen prominent CPI(M) leaders had reportedly received lakhs of rupees from Manichan during the last LDF rule under E.K. Nayanar. That the reports had some substance is proven from the fact that CPI(M) had then to expel Mr. Sathyanesan, their Trivandrum District Secretary from the party on this charge . Also, former CPI(M) MLA Kadakampally Surendran was accused of accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000 from the contractor. But all the other important leaders of the CPI(M) were absolved by the party with the same explanation that “receipts were issued” and hence no corruption was involved.
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the Home Minister and Central Committee member of CPI(M), issued statement in the State Assembly that there were no evidences other than newspaper reports before the government to charge sheet K. Venugopal or anybody else involved in the scam.