Kerala

CPI(M) blames Centre for NIA probe

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Arrest of youths on UAPA charges

The State secretariat of the CPI(M) on Tuesday slammed the Central Government for transferring the case relating to the controversial arrest of two youngsters in Kozhikode on UAPA charges to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The arrest of the two students, both CPI(M) members, on suspicion of having Maoist links in November had sparked off a sharp public debate on the misuse of the harsh law.

The CPI(M) argued the Centre had violated the principle of federalism by handing over the case arbitrarily to the NIA when the State police were investigating it diligently.

The Centre had not bothered to consult the State on the matter, it alleged.

The party’s statement comes against the backdrop of the lament by the mother of one of the detainees, Alan Suhaib, 21, that she never expected Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to dismiss her son, a law student, as Maoist.

Sabitha Madathil, herself a CPI(M) member, had said she felt cruelly abandoned and callously forsaken by the Left Government.

She had stated that her son had lost his will to study and languished listlessly in prison. Ms. Sabitha’s sorrowful outburst, amplified by the social media, appeared not to augur well for the party’s image.

The other person detained under UAPA for alleged Maoist links is Taha Fasal, a journalism student from a low-income family of CPI(M) members.

The slapping of UAPA charges on the students had found the Congress-led UDF Opposition and the CPI, a principal LDF constituent, on the same page.

The CPM appeared increasingly isolated and arguably on the wrong side of the political wrangle. CPI general secretary Kanam Rajendran had last week urged the Government to declare that it would not invoke UAPA in Kerala.

Raging dispute

The arrest of the students had also served as a backdrop to a raging dispute in the mainstream and social media on the question of whether a police “deep state” increasingly choked political expression in Kerala.

Mr. Vijayan had also come under some measure of criticism from the Opposition and within the echelons of the ruling front that he gave weightage to the police version of the arrests.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 11:05:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-blames-centre-for-nia-probe/article30392211.ece

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