Tension prevailed in Pathanapuram town for over three hours on Sunday when the Kerala Congress (B) leader R. Balakrishna Pillai picketed the Pathanapuram police station demanding the release of his supporter and party leader Abdul Aziz who was arrested on Saturday night.
Mr. Pillai, who arrived at the police station by 10 a.m., squatted in front of the station and was not prepared to budge unless Mr. Aziz was released. Finally, by 1 p.m., the police released Mr. Aziz on bail and Mr. Pillai called off the picketing.
As Mr. Pillai entered his vehicle to leave the place, supporters of Mr. Ganesh Kumar (his son and Forests Minister) blocked the vehicle, leading to some tense moments there. The police said that Mr. Aziz was arrested on the basis of a complaint from Mr. Pradeep, private secretary to the Minister. Mr. Pradeep said in the complaint that Mr. Aziz was engaged in a fund-collection drive in connection with the inauguration of the party’s Pathanapuram mandalam committee office though the party had not launched any such drive.
Moreover, Mr. Aziz had phoned up a leading contractor in Mr. Pradeep’s name and threatened him for not obliging to the fund collection. He alleged that the fund collection got exposed when the contractor cross-checked it directly with Mr. Ganesh Kumar and made a complaint about the phone call. The parents of Mr. Aziz also joined the picketing.
In view of the situation, Mr. Aziz was quickly shifted to the Kunnikode police station. Later he was brought back to Pathanapuram and released on bail.