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2 CPI(M) student activists held for distributing pro-Maoist

Press Trust of India  |  Kozhikode (Ker) 

Two CPI(M) student activists were arrested on Saturday under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly distributing pro-Maoist pamphlets, a move that drew sharp criticism from political parties, including CPI(M) and CPI of the ruling Left front.

The two-- Taha Fazal, a journalism student and Alan Shuhaib, studying law, are branch committee members of the Marxist party, police said.

The duo were picked up last evening from nearby Pantheerankavu and pamphlets were seized from them, they said.

Their arrests were recorded on Saturday.

Some of the pamphlets also reportedly criticised the recent police action of gunning down four suspected Maoists at Attapadi in Palakkad district.

IGP North Zone Ashok Yadav, who visited Pantheerankavu from where the arrests were made and the police station where the case was registered, told reporters that the probe was at a very initial stage.

"As of now we have proof to connect them (accused) with the case", he said adding the UAPA will stand and cannot be withdrawn.

As criticism mounted against police for arresting the two youth under UAPA, DGP Loknath Behera had directed Yadav to visit Pantheerankavu and the police station concerned for further investigation.

The relatives of the two accused also met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Kozhikode.

The two, who were produced before a magistrate and remanded, told reporters that they had done no wrong and a false case was being charged against them.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) led LDF government was at the receiving end from the ruling and opposition leaders following the police decision to charge the accused with UAPA.

While Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala described it as a "barbaric" action of the Left government, ruling front leaders hit out against the decision.

In Attapadi four people were gunned down by police and the Chief Minister had not expressed any regret so far, Chennithala said, adding that putting behind bars those sympathising with Maoist ideology was "wrong".

Flaying the police action, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said arresting the two accused under UAPA was "undemocratic" and does not augur well for the government.

Assistant Secretary K Prakash Babu said UAPA is a "black law", which was being "misused" by police.

Senior CPI(M) leader M A Baby said the police should re-examine their decision to arrest the two youth under UAPA.

"The CPI(M)and and the government has no doubt about the fact that UAPA is a black law. However, some police officers are yet to be convinced about it.

The people of the state are confident that the government will take a clear stand on the matter," Baby said in a Facebook Post.

Kozhikode district CPI(M) Secretary P Mohanan also came down on the police action, saying registering the case against the youth under UAPA due to their friendship or closeness with Maoists was not right.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 02 2019. 19:10 IST