A Swiss national, identified by the police as Jonathan Bord, was arrested in Kerala on Tuesday on charges of violating visa regulations after he was found attending a public function held in memory of suspected Maoist leader Sinoj.
Bord, 24, who had been on a tourist visa, was picked up from Thriprayar in Thrissur where an ultra-Left group had organised a meeting to commemorate Sinoj on Monday. A native of Valappad near Thriprayar, he was allegedly killed while handling explosives.
A Thrissur magistrate court has remanded Bord in judicial custody for 14 days. Section 14(b) of Foreigners Act and Section 2(b) of Foreigners Amendment Act have been slapped on him. “He says he is a research scholar on communism. Malayalam and English literature on communism were seized from his hotel room in Kannur,” said the police.
The police said Bord had come to the venue after reading about the incident in a local English daily. He had also attended the ‘Save Gaza’ meeting organised by CPI(M) in Kozhikode last week. He gave a short interview to CPI(M) daily Deshabhimani, introducing him as Mathews, a research scholar. In the interview, he introduced himself as a proud communist.
The police sought the help of an interpreter after Bord claimed he was not familiar with English. “We suspect this to be a ploy. He sought to speak only after intervention of the Swiss Embassy,” police said. People who attended the meeting said Bord had communicated in English.
Meanwhile, ultra-Left activists deplored the arrest of the Swiss man.
Pressure bomb kills tribal head, cops hint at Maoist hand
Bhubaneswar: Four days after Maoists killed two tribals in Malkangiri district, a tribal head was killed Tuesday afternoon when he accidentally stepped on a pressure bomb, allegedly planted by the rebels targeting police and paramilitary personnel. Bira Padiami from Darabhaguda village in Malkangiri district was searching for his cow near a hillock with his wife when he stepped a pressure bomb planted under the soil.
While Padiami died on the spot, his wife was seriously injured. Security personnel rushed to the spot and took the woman to Kalimela hospital. Malkangiri SP Akhileswar Singh said the bomb may have been planted by Maoists, who are observing ‘Martyr’s week’. ENS