Veteran CPM leader VS Achuthanandan on Monday condemned the series of police actions in Kerala, saying it would “only strengthen people’s belief that the State is moving to fascism.” Highlighting the attack on a CPM Branch Secretary, his friend and their families in Fort Kochi beach last week, the former chief minister said the officers who targeted the group which included an infant and a pregnant woman should not be allowed to continue in the police force.
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“Kerala police is not a tool of fascists. They should realise that it is the Left which is ruling the state. The time of police torture and custodial death is over, the police should know,” said the 93-year-old. He also demanded that the officer who targeted the CPM office-bearer should be charged with attempt to murder and dismissed from service. The Home department in Kerala is held by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who has not been in the best of terms with Achuthanandan over the years.
“Dalits, Adivasis, writers and artists are living fearlessly and independently in the state”, Achuthanandan said, adding that it was the duty of the force to ensure that writers here don’t meet the same fate of that of Kalburgi and Pansare. ‘”There are news reports that a police officer took away writer Kamal C Chavara on the charge that he has shown disrespect to the national anthem and threatened to break his backbone,” Achuthanandan said. “The police have maintained that they acted after an Yuva Morcha activist complained to the Director General of Police (DGP). If this is true, the issue is serious,” he added.
Such actions by these police officers will only help in instilling a feeling that the State is headed towards fascism, he added. Achuthanandan said the morale of such officers needs to be broken. “It is only then that the morale of the police force can be maintained.”
There will be no action that will affect the morale of the police force, Pinarayi Vijayan had said soon after the killing of two Maoists in an alleged encounter in north Kerala last month. Achuthanandan is the second CPM leader in the state to target Pinarayi on the atrocities of the police. “Police acted in haste without applying its mind and examination of the details in charging Kamal C Chavara with sedition,” Politburo member and former education minister M A Baby had said on Sunday.