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UAPA Charges Against Student Activists Not Agreeable, Did Not Concur With Police On it, Clarifies CM Vijayan

In his first reaction after police arrested and charged two young students for allegedly distributing pro-Maoist pamphlets, Vijayan said that his government did not agree with the police for arresting the youth under UAPA.

PTI

Updated:November 3, 2019, 10:58 PM IST
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UAPA Charges Against Student Activists Not Agreeable, Did Not Concur With Police On it, Clarifies CM Vijayan
File photo of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

Thiruvananthapuram: Facing flak over slapping of UAPA against two student activists of CPI(M), Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, made it clear on Sunday that his government did not agree with the police decision to frame charges under the Act.

In his first reaction after police arrested and charged two young students under the dreaded Act for allegedly distributing some pro-Maoist pamphlets, Vijayan told reporters that his government did not agree with the police for arresting the youth under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).

The government will examine the case and take necessary action, he said.

If police charges someone with UAPA, it does not mean that it would come into effect immediately, he said. The government and the state appointed committee on UAPA, has to examine the case, he added.

Attacking the Congress, Vijayan said the party had no right to speak against UAPA.

Meanwhile, Justice P S Gopinathan, heading the UAPA committee, told reporters in Kochi that UAPA cannot be imposed solely on the basis of recovery of brochures from the accused.

"Only if there is evidence, UAPA will be valid," he said adding there have been several instances earlier when the committee had denied permission to impose UAPA for lack of evidence. UAPA would be valid only if there was evidence, he said.

Senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala had earlier in the day demanded Vijayan's resignation on the matter.

Chennithala told media that Vijayan, who also holds the Home portfolio, should resign as there was no other option. Thaha Fazal and Allan Shuhaib-- in their early 20s, were arrested in Kozhikode on Saturday morning under UAPA, causing widespread criticism in the left ruled state.

The parents of the two youth have rubbished police claims that they are Maoist sympathisers. Describing UAPA as a 'double-edged sword', Law Minister A K Balan, said it should not be used as a weapon to annihilate the innocent and activists working as per democratic norms.

When an FIR is registered, lot of caution is needed. "We will examine if in this case the FIR was registered as per rules," he told reporters.

CPI(M)'s Kannur District Secretary M V Jayarajan was of the view that the government would act and rectify the decision to arrest the students under the 'dreaded' UAPA.

With criticism mounting against the state government and police over the decision to invoke UAPA on the student activists, DGP Loknath Behera Sunday on directed two senior police officers to conduct an impartial probe and take appropriate action.

Necessary instructions in this regard have been issued to ADGP Law and Order and IGP (North Zone), Behera said.

"At present only a preliminary investigation has been done. All aspects of the case need to be taken into account and evidence collected.

Only after a detailed probe will it be clear if UAPA will stand in this case," the release said. Actress Sajitha Madathil, who is the aunt of Shuhaib,

said the police action to register UAPA was 'shocking'.

A group of 25 police personnel came to the house in the early hours of Saturday and searched the house. "He is not a Maoist. What has he done to attract UAPA?",

she asked.

Police did not find anything from the house, and they only took his mobile phone was taken away, she said. Allan's mother Sabitha said police had told them that her son had Maoist links, which is not right.

From 10th standard onwards, he has been a DYFI, SFI activist and a CPI(M) member, she said. Aboobacker and Jameela, parents of Thaha, said their son used to work and attend journalism classes and he was the one who was taking care of the family. She said she was scared of police.

Police had said they had seized some banners and books from his house. Jameela also alleged that police had threatened and forced her son to raise pro-maoist slogan when he was brought home at 3 am on Saturday.

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