Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the advocate-general to inform it about the authenticity of an audio clip from a telephonic conversation between a police official and a CPM leader in which the former is questioned about his alleged misbehaviour with a leader of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI).
The 5.30-minute clip, which went viral on Wednesday, involves Kalamassery Police Station Sub-Inspector Amruth Rangan and Zakir Hussain, CPM secretary of the Kalamassery area committee in Ernakulam district.
Hussain, a controversial leader, was unseated by the party following an allegation of kidnapping a businessman three years ago. He was reinstated as the secretary of the area committee following an internal inquiry that found him innocent of the allegations of kidnapping and threatening.
In the audio clip, Hussain is heard questioning the officer over his alleged misbehaviour with an SFI leader during a clash between two groups of students of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in its campus on Tuesday.
The conversation begins with Hussain enquiring about the alleged mistreatment of student leader Amal Jose, who is the SFI’s Ernakulam district president, by the police during the clash. Rangan, speaking from the spot, tried to explain his stand.
When Hussain reminds the police official to “do your duty” by taking into consideration the area’s history”, Rangan retorts and says “he has no allegiance to any political party and is not ready to succumb to any such pressure”. The police official goes on to say that he got the job in the police service after clearing the exam through a proper channel, in an overt reference to a recent controversy surrounding a civil police officer examination scam involving a few SFI leaders with a criminal background.
Although both parties did not question the veracity of the clip, it is yet to ascertain who leaked it on social media. The sub-inspector has denied any allegations of leaking the viral clip.
When the matter came up in court, Advocate General CP Sudhakara Prasad said that the incident was yet to come to his notice. The court then asked him to probe the authenticity of the audio clip and file a report on September 19.
The directive was issued on Thursday in a petition filed by the principal of SN College Pampanar in Idukki district, seeking police protection for the smooth functioning of the institution.