Two human rights activists from Kerala were arrested in Coimbatore on Monday evening, after they allegedly tried to hand over a pen drive to jailed Maoists.
CP Rasheed and Harihara Sharma, both members of Kerala-based rights organisation Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam, were arrested when the duo went to Coimbatore Central Jail to meet the Maoist leaders Anup and Shaina lodged at the prison since 2015.
Coimbatore Commissioner Amalraj told The News Minute that Rasheed and Harihara were caught red-handed trying to hand over a pen drive to Anup.
"They had bypassed the security check while entering the prison to meet the prisoners. They had concealed the pen drive all the while and tried to hand it over to the prisoners. This is when the officials arrested them. Rasheed and Harihara also created ruckus at the prison while they were being arrested," the Commissioner said.
He added that the police seized the pen drive and were in the process of ascertaining the contents of the pen drive. They were later remanded to judicial custody.
However, the members of Jankeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam has cried foul over the arrest of the two. Rasheed is the President of the organisation.
The organisation said that a false case was slapped against its two members by the Coimbatore police.
In a press statement, Advocate Tushar Nirmal Sarathi, General Secretary of the organisation condemned the Tamil Nadu police's move.
"Any one can understand that the case against Rasheed and Harihara is a false one. The accusation is that they tried to hand over a pen drive. That too to the prisoners, who do not even have access to books, let alone a computer. This is an attack to suppress the activists and advocates who are helping political prisoners including Maoists fight the legal battle," the statement reads.
The organisation has also asked the Tamil Nadu government to withdraw all charges against Rasheed and Harihara and release them.