Kerala DGP Loknath Behera has clarified that the police have not arrested writer Kamal C Chavara and activist Nadir and they were only detained for questioning and recording statements.
Kamal was detained for about 10 hours by the police on the basis of a complaint filed by Yuva Morcha, the BJP Youth Wing, in Karunagapally of Kollam district. The complaint said that Kamal insulted the National Anthem in his novels and in Facebook posts.
After being let off by the police, Kamal was admitted to Kozhikode Medical College as he felt uneasy.
Nadir, a human rights activist and Kamalâ€™s friend, went along with the writer to the hospital. Nadir, however, was taken into police custody when he went out to get food for Kamal, alleging that he had distributed Maoist pamphlets among people.
In Tuesdayâ€™s press release by the DGP, Behra stated they neither of them were arrest and denied all reports claiming that the two had been charged with sedition.
â€śIn the case of Kamal, a case under 124 A of IPC was charged based on the allegation. As part of investigation Kamal was questioned by the police. This was an investigation requirement as per law. He has not been arrested so far and he is not in police custody,â€ť the DGP clarified.
In the same statement, he also stated that Nadir was questioned with regard to a case registered by Aralam police in March 2016.
â€śHis statement has been recorded in the case registered under UAPA relating to certain LWE activities i.e. going to a house in Aralam and threatening the inmates, extortion etc..,â€ť it says.
It says that after questioning police couldnâ€™t find any evidence proving Nadirâ€™s involvement in the case and he was let off.
Many CPI(M) leaders including VS Achuthanandan, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and even central leadership have hit out at the police. On Tuesday CPI (M) released a statement on Facebook saying that sedition charges will not be applicable for the National Anthem issue.
However, Nadir alleges that the police changed their stand after controversy.
â€śI was kept under detention for almost 25 hours, questioning continued yesterday till 1.30 am. While they took, me they have said that it was an arrest,â€ť Nadir told The News Minute.
He said that even Kamal was kept under detention for 10 hours.
Nadir was questioned at Iritty DySP office in Kannur district and was let off under the instruction that he should appear in station whenever called.
â€śThey were questioning me continuously. First I was taken by Kozhikode Medical college police and for hours I was kept in the lock up. Later they shifted me to Iritty and started questioning,â€ť he said.
Nadir said that Kamal had also undergone a similar experience.
Kamal wrote on his Facebook page that the police is searching for evidence to strengthen their casse against Nadir.
â€śFor the time being he was let off. In more than 100 UAPA cases registered in Kerala which one has evidence? Need to be careful,â€ť Kamal writes.
On Monday, Kamal went on a hunger strike in the medical college hospital demanding Nadirâ€™s release.