Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala govt directs police to speed up withdrawal of cases against CAA protesters

Pinarayi Vijayan said that 629 of the 835 cases registered were closed after the government moved the court to withdraw them.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Kerala government has directed the district police chiefs to expedite the process of withdrawing bailable cases against those who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state. 

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) had drawn criticism from the public after the Kerala police booked several people for protesting against the CAA notification recently despite Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement that the Act will not be implemented in the state.

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According to reports, a total of 835 cases have been registered against 7913 people, who participated in the CAA protests. The majority of them were booked under non-serious offences. Addressing the media, Pinarayi Vijayan said that 629 of the 835 cases were closed after the government moved the court to withdraw them. “We have consented to withdraw 84 of the remaining 209 cases. The court will decide on the matter,” he added.

However, the opposition alleged that only less than 100 cases have been withdrawn. “In 2019, 835 cases were registered. The Chief Minister promised that except for 102 serious cases, the remaining 733 cases would be withdrawn. But till August 2023, only 63 cases were withdrawn,” Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan told the media.

For the cases to be withdrawn, the police have to ensure that the applications for the same are submitted to the court on time. Since the prosecutor should also submit a favourable report in court, the Additional Chief Secretary of the Home Department issued instructions to government lawyers.

The Citizenship Amendment Act has turned into an election issue in Kerala with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) assuring that the law will not be implemented in the state while the Congress has promised it will revoke the law if they can form the Union government after the Lok Sabha Elections.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. The Bill amended the Citizenship Act of 1955. The Act prohibited a foreign illegal migrant (a person without valid travel documents) from acquiring Indian citizenship, except for those who came into India on or before December 31, 2014, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan and belong to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian religious communities.

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