Kerala Congress leader meets parents of 2 CPI(M) workers held for alleged Maoist link
Journalism student Alan Shuhaib and Taha Fazal, a law student, were arrested in Kozhikode allegedly when they were distributing Maoist pamphlets in November last year.Updated: Jan 21, 2020 17:37 IST
Kerala Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday met the parents of the two CPI(M) workers arrested under the Unlawful Prevention of Activities Act (UAPA) for their alleged nexus with Maoists last year.
Journalism student Alan Shuhaib and Taha Fazal, a law student, were arrested in Kozhikode allegedly when they were distributing Maoist pamphlets in November last year.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had disowned the two and later the party had expelled them citing their alleged nexus with Maoists and Muslim extremists. Last week, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had taken over the case from the state police.
“It was a courtesy call. We asked the parents in detail about the case. It seems there is no difference between home minister Amit Shah and the Kerala CM. Both misuse UAPA. In UAPA cases, you need solid charges and evidence but these two were held under some suspicions,” said Chennithala.
The government had promised the poor parents that charges under the anti-terror law won’t sustain but later the case was handed over to NIA, the Congress leader said.
He added Vijayan had cheated the family members, who were ardent supporters of the CPI(M), and that he will take up the issue in the upcoming assembly session.
“If the CM has any evidence he should come out with it. I have assured the family all help,” he said.
The mother of Shuhaib, Sabitha Madathil, later said the opposition leader’s visit was a big relief.
“He has shown enough curtsey but the party we believed throughout our life disowned us badly. It seems while in power the CPI(M) has a different face,” she said.
Belonging to communist families, parents of both the men have maintained that their sons are innocent and charges against them were trumped up.
The Kozhikode district secretary of the CPI(M), P Mohanan, criticised Chennithala’s visit.
“The high-profile visit shows the bankruptcy of the Congress party,” he said.
He had earlier said some Muslim extremist outfits were supporting Maoists in the state without taking their names.
The arrest two men had hit national headlines as the ruling CPI(M) had steadfastly opposed UAPA terming it a draconian law. Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury and senior leader Prakash Karat had also criticised their arrest under the act.
But the state government went ahead with the police claim that they were “urban Naxalites.”
The killing of the four Maoists in an alleged encounter in October last year and police decision to slap UAPA on the two for distributing Maoist pamphlets had angered many, especially left intellectuals and supporters.
Many film personalities, writers and activists had also condemned the decision to slap UAPA on them. Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, writer Satchithanandan, actor Joy Mathew and others said they had not expected such a decision from the left front government.