Cong. bats for jailed CPI(M) men


Govt. promises to review UAPA case against students

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition walked out of the Kerala Legislative Assembly on Monday in protest against the “arbitrary” arrest of two young CPI(M) workers on “trumped-up” charges of Maoist loyalty and under the harsh provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Kozhikode last week.

In an unusual show of support for the jailed members of the ruling party, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala slammed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for “inertly allowing the police” to “blight the future” of two promising youths.

Mr. Vijayan pushed back by stating that Maoists were no “angels or lambs” and Kerala could ill afford to have an armed insurgency at its doorstep.

The police had recovered Maoist literature from the accused. The youths had raised pro-Maoist slogans. The government was reviewing the case and would not brook any misuse of the law.

Charge against CM

Mr. Chennithala said Mr. Vijayan, cocooned by his advisors, had merely parroted the police version. The police controlled Mr. Vijayan and not vice versa. Inspector General of Police Asok Yadav had overruled the Chief Minister and reasserted the youths were “hardened Maoists”. He feared the police would brand the youth as “terrorists” under the recently amended provisions of the UAPA.

Mr. Chennithala spoke warmly about the students and their Communist legacy. Alan Suhaib, 21, a law student, is the grandson of veteran communist Savithri teacher, he said. His aunt Sajitha Madathil is a famous thespian and a Communist.

Taha Fasal, 20, a journalism student, hailed from a family of CPI(M) workers. He did manual labour to afford tuition fee and succour his ailing parents.

The top police bureaucracy had from its privileged seclusion cast down two “children” into a purgatory meant for the hardest of criminals. The Chief Minister had played second fiddle to the injustice.

Alan’s aunt, Ms. Sajitha, had written poignantly in a Facebook post that she would advise Alan not even to wear red dhoti in Kerala's Kafkaesque environment.

Mr. Chennithala said Kerala feared for youth. leaders across the political spectrum shared their pain. However, Mr. Vijayan remained strangely unmoved, he said.

Later, the Speaker rejected the Opposition's motion to adjourn the business of the House to discuss the UAPA arrests.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 8:55:47 PM |

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