A suspected Maoist was arrested while he was coming out of the central prison in Thrissur after obtaining bail in 11 UAPA cases against him.
Danish (30), who hails from Coimbatore, had been in the Kerala jail since his arrest from Palakkad district in October 2018, and had been getting bail in one case after another. On September 8, he could finally emerge out of the high-security central prison after meeting the conditions in the latest bail order, which was issued by a district court in November 2019.
While he was emerging from the prison on Tuesday, a team of the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) of Kerala Police arrested him in a case that the ATS registered on August 29 this year, again under UAPA.
According to sources, Danish was accused in the case registered a few years ago in Kozhikode Rural district, where a group of suspected Maoists allegedly visited a tribal colony, distributed pamphlets and demanded food/money from residents. The police had not named anyone as accused. After the ATS, which was formed early this year, took up the probe, a fresh FIR was registered and Danish was named as an accused.
Deputy Police Superintendent V V Benny, who is probing the case for ATS, said they arrested Danish after getting permission from the court. “We cannot reveal more details as the case was registered under UAPA,” he said.
High Court advocate Tushar Nirmal Sarathi said, “We will challenge Danish’s arrest. He was in police custody since October 2019. Now, the ATS has come up with a UAPA case only to ensure he is not released from jail. The incident in which Danish has been made an accused took place before his arrest. The police could not identify anyone who visited the tribal colony to propagate Maoism. Now, the ATS has suddenly found that Danish was in the team.”
Human rights activist C P Rasheed, who went to the prison to receive Danish on his release, said, “Why did police not make him an accused in the case all this time? The arrest in the fake case is a clear agenda to prevent his release from jail.”
In the remand report submitted in Kozhikode sessions court on September 9, the ATS said, “Danish has raised slogan ‘Maoist Zindabad’ which is an evidence to show that he is a member of the banned Maoist organisation.”
The ATS FIR mentions five suspected Maoists, including Danish. It alleges that the gang tried to spread Maoist ideology in two houses and demanded money from the residents.
The remand report said Danish was taken to the houses but there was nobody to identify him. Hence, the police said they would seek his custody for conducting an identification parade.
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