Kerala Police arrest two CPI(M) workers for Maoist link

Alan Suhaib (left) and Thaha Fazal are taken to a court in Kozhikode on November 1, 2019.   | Photo Credit: K. RAGESH

Kozhikode Police on November 2 arrested two Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists who are accused of having circulated notices criticising the alleged encounter killing of four Maoists in the Manjakkatti forests in Kerala’s Palakkad district.

Alan Suhaib and Thaha Fazal were taken into custody from Pantheerankavu on Friday night. They were charged under Sections 20 (punishment for being member of a terrorist gang or organisation), 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation) and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. 

‘Solid evidence’ 

The police said the two activists, who are studying law and journalism respectively, were suspected of maintaining contact with Maoist functionaries. The arrests were made under the UAPA on the basis of “sound evidence”, they asserted.

The police also claimed to have recovered “suspicious pamphlets” which they allege were aimed at propagating Maoist ideology. Searches were carried out in the houses of the two activists to get “more documentary evidence”. The police also said they had intensified a search for another youth who had reportedly fled from the spot on seeing the patrol squad.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought a report from State police chief Loknath Behera after the arrests triggered widespread criticism. 

Parents meet Vijayan

The parents and relatives of the arrested men met the Chief Minister at the government guesthouse in Kozhikode and sought his intervention. 

 The youths had no connection with Maoists and were not part of circulating any illegal notices, the families contended.

Based on Mr. Behera’s directive, Asok Yadav, Inspector General (North Zone), visited the Pantheerankavu police station on Saturday and reviewed the circumstances leading to the arrests. Mr. Yadav later told the media that the arrests were made on the basis of “solid evidence”. He also emphasised that the charges under the UAPA sections, used to book the men, could not be revoked.

The arrests sparked criticism by CPI(M) activists who asserted that it as a ‘clear case of misuse of powers’ by the police. The CPI(M) district leadership called for a thorough review of the circumstances, which led to the ‘suspicious’ arrests.

‘Review action’

CPI(M) Kozhikode district secretary P. Mohanan said the police should review the act of invoking UAPA sections against the youths as it was done in a hasty manner. “Our party does not support Maoist ideology. We support only a democratic way of functioning. A detailed investigation should be conducted into this incident to bring to light the truth,” he demanded. 

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 3:46:30 AM |

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