Kerala Police on Tuesday went back on its decision to slap sedition charges on writer Kamalsy Prana and book activist K P Nadir under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) following criticism from the ruling CPM.
Prana was booked after a BJP worker complained that the writer had insulted the national anthem on Facebook post by quoting from his novel. Nadir, who is accused of distributing pro-Maoist pamphlets in Kannur in March, was on Monday arrested from Kozhikode Medical College, where he had gone to meet Prana.
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CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan took strong exception to the Kerala police’s action on Tuesday saying that the UAPA should only be used in terror cases. “The government should take strict action against those police officials, who are acting against the police policy,’’ he said. “The sedition charge framed against the writer in the national anthem issue would give a wrong message to society. It was the previous Congress government that framed UAPA charge against Nadir. The Left government should review that case.’’
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that no one should be charged with sedition in the cases involving the anthem. He added that the police should act only as per the Supreme Court’s directive in such cases.
Subsequently, the police released Nadir, saying that he was taken into custody only to take his statements. Kerala Police chief Loknath Behera insisted that Nadir was not arrested but “taken into custody’’. He added that sedition charge against Prana would not stand legal scrutiny.
BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan criticised the CM, saying he had violated oath of office by asking police to release the accused. “It is a dangerous trend that any case can be torpedoed by political intervention.’’