Mohammad Shuhaib, the father of Alan Shuhaib, the student who was arrested under UAPA last year, will be contesting the upcoming local body elections in Kerala. Alan Shuhaib and another student, Thaha Fazal, were arrested in November 2019 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in November 2019 for alleged Maoists links, and were released a year later.
But this is not the only reason Alan’s father Mohammad has chosen to stand for the elections this year — Mohammed that contesting elections is a form of protest too. He has previously expressed dissent against the ruling CPI(M) over a lot of issues and hence has decided to stand against the CPI(M) this election.
The 60-year-old, a former CPI(M) Branch Secretary, Mohammad Shuhaib will be contesting the elections on Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) ticket from the Valiyangadi Division of the Kozhikode Corporation. The local body polls in Kerala will be held in three phases in December, starting from December 8.
Speaking to TNM, Mohammad Shuhaib said his candidature is a form of protest against the government over various issues, including the acquittal of the accused in the alleged rape and murder of two minor sisters in Walayar in Palakkad, the suicide of engineering student Jishnu Pranoy in 2017, and other similar issues.
"I won't say my candidature comes only in protest of Alan’s arrest and the fact that UAPA was imposed against him. It is a form of protest against various issues. There are thousands of people who disagree with the CPI(M)’s policies and my candidature represents that dissent," Mohammad Shuhaib told TNM.
Both Alan, a law student, and Thaha, a journalism student, were members of the CPI(M) when they were arrested. They were expelled from the party after the arrest. The two students were released from jail in September this year after a National Investigative Agency (NIA) court granted them bail. Alan’s mother Sabitha and her sister, actor Sajitha Madathil, are known to be close to the CPI(M).
"Everyone can have their own political stand,” Mohammad Shuhaib said. “But I am someone who was not a traditional CPI(M) person."
Earlier, Mohammad Shuhaib served as the secretary of the CPI(M)’s Kuttichira Thangals branch in Kozhikode in the early 2000s. He quit the CPI(M) membership ten years ago.
RMP is a political outfit based out of Kozhikode and was born out of disagreements with the CPI(M). TP Chandrasekharan, a former CPI (M) leader in Kozhikode, had floated RMP in 2009 after parting ways with the CPI(M). Four years later, TP was brutally hacked to death in May 2012. Eleven CPI(M) members were sentenced to life imprisonment in the TP murder case in 2014. Now, KK Rema, TP's wife, leads the party after his death.