The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested another person â€” an engineering graduate from Wayanad, in the controversial Pantheerankavu Unlawful Atrocities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case in Kerala. Vijith Vijayan (27) hails from Padinjarathara in Wayanad and was arrested after he was taken into custody for interrogation on Wednesday. The case pertains to the arrest of two students Thaha Fasal and Alan Shuhaib, alleging Maiost links.
According to IANS, Vijith Vijayan is agrained as the fourth accused in the case. He will be produced before a NIA court in Ernakulam and the agency is likely to ask for his custody for further interrogation.
Vijith, an engineering graduate from Calicut University had been running a tuition centre in Kozhikode. He is allegedly a leader of a student organisation of CPI (Maoist), a Times of India report stated. According to reports, investigation officers have claimed that Vijith is alleged to have influenced youth to join the organisation in 2015-16. Earlier, NIA officials had quizzed him multiple times following the arrest of Alan and Thaha. Reports also suggest that more arrests are likely to take place in the case.
Alan Shuhaib (21) and 24-year-old Thaha Fasal were arrested by the Pantheerankavu police in November 2019 by Kerala police, who later allegedly recovered posters with Maoists. The case drew major flak for the Left government after police charged the Unlawful Atrocities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against the youth. CPI(M) and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had even come out terming the youth Maoists.
After being jailed for close to a year, in last September, the NIA court in Kochi granted the students bail, stating that there is no proof that the youth were Maoists. But this January, the Kerala High Court cancelled the bail of Thaha Fasal, coming heavily down on the NIA courtâ€™s observation while granting bail. However Alanâ€™s bail has not been cancelled considering medical grounds.
Following this, Thaha deposed to NIA and is under judicial custody. Meanwhile, the third accused in the case Usman, who is alleged to have been with the duo while being nabbed by Pantheerankavu police, is still absconding.