Apparently distancing itself from police for taking into custody and slapping sedition charges against a theatre artist and activist, ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Friday made it clear that the LDF has its own declared policy and no action violating it should be happened from the side of police personnel.
In an article in party mouthpiece ‘Deshabhimani’, party state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said as per the policy of LDF government, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) should be slapped only against persons involving in terrorist activities. He also accused the previous Congress-led UDF government of widely misusing the UAPA and sedition charges (124A). The Act was even slapped against CPI(M)’s party workers during its tenure, he alleged.
“LDF government has its own declared police policy. It is not akin to the policy of either Narendra Modi government at the Centre or that of the previous UDF government in the state. There should not be any act violating our declared policy,” he said. Balakrishnan’s article came at a time when the LDF government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who holds the home portfolio, were widely being criticised for the police action against artist Kamal C Chavara over showing disrespect to national anthem and activist Nadeer Gul Mohammed for his alleged Maoist links.
In the article, Kodiyeri said the slapping of 124(A) against Kamal amounted to send a wrong message. “But, letting him off after taking into custody was an appropriate action. The LDF government has always intervened strongly and punished those guilty when there was violation of state police policy and Police Act,” he said.
In Nadeer’s case, a case was registered under UAPA on March 3, 2016 during the tenure of the previous government. Though police had taken him into custody earlier this month, he was later let off when the charges were found baseless, he said. “Police should be ready for a legal re-examination even in the UAPA cases wrongly slapped by the previous government,” he said.
The leader also criticised the controversy over the arrest of some people for allegedly disrespecting national anthem during the time of recent International Film Festival of Kerala. It was during the tenure of the previous UDF government that three youths were arrested from a local theatre here for not standing up while playing national anthem and 124 (A) was slapped against them by police, he said.
But, during the time of this IFFK, police took some people into custody for maintaining law and order but later let them off on station bail, he said. “This indicates that LDF government’s policy is not that of UDF,” he said. Balakrishnan also pointed out that Chief Minister himself had warned that stringent measures would be taken against those who violate the government policy. Attempts to destroy the morale of police in the name of some isolated incidents were going on in the state, he added.