Communist Party of India (Marxist) State committee member M.V. Jayarajan, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday, emerged from the Central Prison here on Wednesday evening to a subdued reception from party workers.
Although the district CPI(M) leadership had hoped to secure his release in the morning, the formalities for his release could be completed only much later than that on account of the delay in the submission of the relevant papers from the Kerala High Court before the prison authorities and Mr. Jayarajan could leave the prison only at 4.15 p.m.
With the CPI(M) deciding to make his release a sober affair, there were only a few hundred party workers and some district-level leaders present before the Central Prison to receive him. At one point of time, mediapersons appeared to outnumber the party workers and the confusion witnessed on the day he was brought to the prison was missing this time round.
The party workers garlanded Mr. Jayarajan as he was escorted out of the prison by CPI(M) legislators V. Sivankutty and K.V. Abdul Khader, former Thiruvananthapuram Mayor C. Jayan Babu, and a few other district leaders. None of the State-level leaders of the party was present for the reception at the nearby Poojappura Maidan.
While responding to the reception accorded to him, Mr. Jayarajan spared the judiciary and made the ruling United Democratic Front the target of his attack. If the Oommen Chandy government believed in the principles for which Mahatma Gandhi stood, it should show the courage to implement the legislation adopted by the Assembly to facilitate wayside meetings, he said.
The CPI(M), he said, had the highest regard for the judiciary and that the party's battle was not against the judiciary. In a democracy, nobody was above criticism. Courts were the last refuge of the people and the people were the final arbiters of a democratic society. The battle to secure the people's rights to freedom of speech and organisation would continue, Mr. Jayarajan said.
The nine-day prison term, he said, had helped him read 12 books including those penned by Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, A.K. Gopalan, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, and Mahatma Gandhi. He was particularly inspired by what Gandhiji told Sardar Vallabhai Patel in 1919 when the then British government curtailed the freedom of the people to hold meetings. Kerala was being ruled by Mahatma Gandhi's disciples. The struggle that he and the CPI(M) had waged was for securing the freedom for which Gandhiji had fought, Mr. Jayarajan said.