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SFI activist Abhimanyu’s killing: Police consider invoking UAPA

Maharaja’s College student and SFI’s Idukki district joint secretary Abhimanyu, 19, was stabbed to death Monday following an altercation over putting up graffiti on walls.

SFI activist Abhimanyu's killing: Police consider invoking UAPA Abhimanyu (in pic) was a second-year student and a worker of the Students Federation of India (SFI).

Kerala police are mulling about invoking Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case pertaining to the murder of an SFI activist on a college campus in Kochi.

Maharaja’s College student and SFI’s Idukki district joint secretary Abhimanyu, 19, was stabbed to death Monday following an altercation over putting up graffiti on walls. Police have so far arrested five persons belonging to Popular Front of India (PFI) or its arms, Campus Front and Social Democratic Party of India.

As the PFI and its allied outfits are under the scanner, police are mulling about invoking the anti-terror law. Police also suspect the involvement of some PFI activists either convicted or set free by an NIA court in the 2010 case in which a professor’s hand was chopped off on charges of insulting the Prophet — some of the convicted are out after serving their eight-year jail term.

READ | SFI worker Abhimanyu’s killing: Rival KSU sends out heartening message of peace

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After reviewing the probe, DGP Loknath Behera said, “There is a conspiracy behind the murder as most of the suspected persons came from outside the campus. Professional killers are involved in the murder. We are taking legal opinion on whether UAPA could be invoked in the case,’’ said Behera.

Kochi city police have identified that a 15-member gang is behind the murder. J I Muhammed, a third-year degree student of the college and worker of Campus Front, has been identified as prime suspect. The college has suspended Muhammed, who is absconding, and another student Farook Aman, who has been arrested.

Read | Kerala: CPI(M) describes attack on SFI members as ‘Taliban model’

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Police sources said the 2010 hand-chopping case was a terror case in every respect. “We suspect some of the accused, out of jail after serving their term, are involved in the logistics behind the murder,’’ sources said.

NIA sources said they are not involved in the probe so far. “We haven’t so for come across the involvement of PFI activists accused in the hand chopping case in the college murder. A few of the convicts are out and we are keeping an eye on them. Those out on bail have been regularly reporting before us. We will look into the case depending on if there is a terror angle,’’ sources said.

READ | Kerala: SFI leader stabbed to death top Kochi college

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Kerala police have been raiding premises of the PFI and its other organisations to nab the accused in the murder. Police have nabbed a few PFI men who have been facing a case in connection with a protest march to Kerala High Court to protest against the verdict in the Hadiya case — the high court had nullified Hadiya’s marriage with Shefin Jahan, a PFI worker.

Meanwhile, CPM has decided to conduct protest gatherings across Kerala on July 10 “to expose the attempts of PFI/SDPI to weaken the secular fabric of the state.’’ CPM state secretariat, in a statement, termed the murder as a “Taliban model”.

First published on: 06-07-2018 at 01:44 IST
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