Secretary General of CPI(M) Sitaram Yechury speaks to the media after attending the all-party meeting to explore the possibility of simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha, State Assemblies and local bodies, at Parliament House Library.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Secretary General of CPI(M) Sitaram Yechury speaks to the media after attending the all-party meeting to explore the possibility of simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha, State Assemblies and local bodies, at Parliament House Library.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

CPI(M) state unit supports Kerala govt on UAPA despite central leaders’ protests

Police had arrested journalism student Alan Shuhaib, 19, and Taha Fazal, 24, who is pursuing law, while they were allegedly distributing Maoist pamphlets in Kozhikode last Friday.
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON NOV 09, 2019 12:58 AM IST

Despite a strong reservation from the central leadership of the CPI(M), the party secretariat on Friday supported the Kerala government’s decision to go ahead with the case against two of its workers booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Police had arrested journalism student Alan Shuhaib, 19, and Taha Fazal, 24, who is pursuing law, while they were allegedly distributing Maoist pamphlets in Kozhikode last Friday.

Their parents said they were innocent and charges against them were fabricated by police.

A local court had denied bail to both on Wednesday and sent them to judicial custody leaving many red-faced.

Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury and many senior leaders including Prakash Karat had criticised the police move to book them under UAPA and urged the state government to “correct the mistake.”

The contentious issue has triggered fissures in the party as many leaders came out against UAPA and questioned the government.

But the secretariat cleared the government and agreed with its view to not interfere with the ongoing probe, said a member who did not want to be identified.

During the secretariat meeting, many senior leaders said any intervention at this point will give a wrong signal and there are chances that young cadres like the arrested men may turn to extreme left ideology.

They felt that strict action is needed to curb such tendencies among cadres. Some leaders from Kozhikode reportedly said they were aware of the deviation of these youngsters and warned to mend their ways but they refused.

Though the party has disowned the two men, it is yet to take disciplinary action against them.

Hailing from a Communist family, parents of both the men had met chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking his intervention. But after that, the police released many evidence against them which showed their alleged nexus with Maoists.

They have now moved the high court for bail which is expected to take up their plea on November 14.

Under UAPA, a monitoring committee has to approve the charge-sheet against the accused and in Kerala, it is being headed by former HC judge PS Gopinathan. The party felt that let the committee should take a final call on the issue.

The party also feared that dilution of the case at this point will give enough ammunition to the BJP nationally. It has sought strict action against them saying “these urban Naxalites pose more danger to the country.”

Besides differences in the party, it also triggered a rift in ruling coalition with the CPI leading a front against the police.

The party had also criticised chief secretary Tom Jose’s write up in a daily justifying police action on Maoists. Many writers and intellectuals have also slammed the government move.

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