The Union Home Ministry reportedly wrote a letter to the state Police Chief Loknath Behra and Chief Secretary Tom Jose, noted that the case had been handed over to the NIA.

Solidarity for Kerala students Alan Suhaib and Thaha Fazal charged under UAPA grows
news Controversy Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 21:09

With the National Investigation Agency (NIA) taking over the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act case slammed on the two Kerala students — 20-year-old Alan Suhaib and 24-year-old Thaha Fazal — the loop around the students has grown tighter. But amidst the investigation, solidarity and support for the two students has also grown.

Reacting to the issue, prominent Malayalam writer KR Meera slammed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a recent Facebook post, saying that he has labelled the students as ‘Maoists’.

“Apart from the accusation that the two students allegedly kept pro Maoist posters with them, are they any other seditious actions they were part of? Have they destroyed public property or killed someone? Were any weapons or blueprints of any planned attacks that could be a threat to the security of the country, confiscated from them?” KR Meera posted on Facebook on Friday.

She also questioned why, after two months, there has been no evidence made public in the case, which led to imposition of UAPA on the students. “It was with so much ease and confidence Chief Minister openly said that they are Maoists. Shouldn’t he be also citing the reasons for making such a statement?” asked KR Meera.

It has been two months since Alan Suhaib and Thaha Fazal, residents of Kozhikode district in Kerala, were arrested and charged under sections of the UAPA. The two students were arrested on the night of November 1 by the Pantheerakavu police, allegedly for distributing pro Maoist posters. The CPI(M)-led Left government in the state faced criticism after police charged the students under UAPA.

The duo were members of the CPI(M) in Kozhikode. CPI(M) leaders, including Sitaram Yechury and Prakash Karat, had earlier expressed their support for the students. But now, the case has been taken up by the NIA, and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has openly called the students ‘Maoists’.

The Union Home Ministry had reportedly written a letter to the state Police Chief Loknath Behra and Chief Secretary Tom Jose, that case had been handed over to the NIA.

The parents of the students have said that they have given up hope for assistance from the party or state government, and will not rely on justice from the court. Following this, many others have criticised the CPI(M) led state government on the issue.

Activist Civic Chandran, who came out in support of the solidarity campaign, also slammed CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran for his silence on the issue. “If you have the courage to say that Citizenship Amendment Act should not be implemented, why don't you say the same on the UAPA issue,” he wrote on Facebook.

The demand to scrap UAPA on Alan and Thaha also resonated in various anti CAA protests in the state. In the protest named ‘Art Attack’ against CAA and National Registry of Citizens led by artists in Kozhikode recently, many protesters held placards demanding the release of Alan and Thaha.

A protest gathering was even held in Kozhikode criticising the issue. The protest, which was held on Thursday, saw the participation of many activists like MN Karassery, Ajitha, actor Joy Mathew and political leader KK Rema.

“There is no debate on whether a person who has done a crime should be punished or not. If Alan and Thaha have done anything wrong, they should be punished. But the question here is that why UAPA, which even the Left government calls draconian, was imposed on the students. And why have they been handed over to NIA without even saying exactly what they did wrong. And on what basis did Pinarayi Vijayan said the students are Maoists,” said Karassery. 

Read:

Kerala government’s use of UAPA calls into question its policy on dissent

Cong questions Kerala govt’s ‘silence’ as NIA to probe UAPA charges against students

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