Kerala police on Thursday arrested the state convener of Porattam, an organisation suspected to be a front for Maoists, and invoked UAPA against him in a case pertaining to putting up posters urging people to boycott the recent Assembly polls.
Shanto Lal was picked up from Kozhikode press club, minutes before he was to address the media on the misuse of UAPA. His arrest under Section 39 of UAPA came two weeks after CM Pinarayi Vijayan had said in Assembly that it was not the state’s policy to impose the UAPA.
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During the run-up to the Assembly polls, Lal and two other Porattam activists had put up posters in Kozhikode, urging people to boycott the election. Elsewhere in north Kerala, 12 others had been arrested under UAPA for putting up such posters.
Kozhikode Assistant Commissioner E K Prithvirajan said Lal faced two cases on the same charges. He added that UAPA was invoked against him and two others, who were arrested earlier, as their call for boycott was aimed at helping extremist outfits.