The police arrested Sadhu Jana Vimochana Samyukta Vedi (SJVSV) president Laha Gopalan from his office at Azhoor, near here, on Tuesday in connection with a cheating case pending in the Pathanamthitta Chief Judicial Magistrate Court. The case was filed by Kunjukutty and Georgekutty of Kumbalathamon in 2007.

The court had issued an arrest warrant against Gopalan in 2008.

The Circle Inspector (CI) investigating the case had informed the court that the accused was evading arrest.

Show-cause notice

The court issued a show-cause notice to the officer on October 20, 2009, for misleading the court as the accused was noticed to be present in the town, issuing public statements and making public speeches in connection with the Chengara agitation.

The arrest was made by a police team led by CI R. Binu and sub-inspector C.S. Sujatha at 6 p.m.

Gopalan had been spearheading an agitation for land by SJVSV by encroaching upon the estate of Harrisons Malayalam Limited at Chengara, near here, since August 5, 2008.

SJVSV protest

As many as 200 vedi workers took out a march to the police station and staged a sit-in before there demanding immediate release of their leader.

Gopalan was produced before the court at 11 a.m.

Gopalan’s bail application was dismissed and was remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. He was shifted to the Central Jail at Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram.

Conspiracy alleged

Addressing a protest meeting in the town, vedi general secretary Selina Prakkanam said the arrest was ‘part of a conspiracy hatched by the police and the government to sabotage the Chengara land struggle.’

The land struggle would continue and the vedi would intensifying its agitation demanding release of their leader, Ms. Prakkanam said.

More In: Kerala | National