Two law students – Alan Shuhaib and Thaha Fasal from the Kannur University in Kerala were arrested today allegedly for distributing pro-Maoist brochures in Kozhikode. They have been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the Pantheerankavu police station in Kozhikode district.
According to the police, the two accused, who hailed from Thalassery, were handing out pro-Maoist pamphlets and shouting pro-Maoist slogans when they were arrested by them from the Pantheerankavu market.
Reacting sternly to the arrests to two students, who were also members of CPI(M), Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan sought an explanation about the grounds on which the two law students were hauled up by the police. Alan Shuhaib is the local Kozhikode Kallai Thiruvannur branch member of the party while Thaha is the DYFI unit secretary of the Pantheerankavu local branch. Alan apparently lost his membership of the SFI (student wing of the CPI(M)) after moving to Thalassery to pursue a degree in law.
The leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala denounced the arrests stating that the imposition of UAPA against students for allegedly distributing Maoist brochures was a cruel act. Alleging that the government in the state was trampling upon democratic rights of the citizens, he further asserted that charges under the Act should not be applied against those who stand for ideologies.
It is noteworthy to mention that the arrest of the two students came three days after the Thunderbolt team of the Kerala police eliminated four alleged Maoists in Attappadi, Palakkad earlier this week. The incident garnered widespread condemnation among the political circles, the CPI and the Congress in Kerala.
In a fierce gunfight, the Thunderbolt team took down three alleged Maoists including a woman on Monday. As per sources, the alleged Maoist killed on Tuesday was a top rung Maoist from Tamil Nadu, Mani Vasakam. Acting on a tip-off, the force had gone for combing operations in the forest region in Attappadi where the gunfight ensued and Maoists were neutralised.