Two youths, both members of the ruling CPI-M, were sent to 14 days remand by a court here on Saturday, after the police arrested them under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act). The charges were denied by the duo and the arrests were widely condemned by political leaders.
The two students of law and journalism, Allen Shuaib and Thaha Fazil both full time CPI-M workers, were arrested after the police recovered leaflets that supported the Maoists movement besides condemning the Union government's action in Jammu and Kashmir, from them.
Both of them were taken into custody by the police and after lengthy questioning the police registered a case under UAPA. Late in the evening the two were produced before a court here, which remanded them to 14 days judicial custody.
While being taken to the court, the two youths told the waiting media that they were taken into custody after they were seen smoking.
"We have done no wrong and nothing was recovered from us," shouted the two when they were taken to the court.
But IG of Police Ashok Yadav told the media that they have been taken into custody after recovery of strong evidence.
"Yes, they have been charged under UAPA as documents were seized from them," said Yadav.
Meanwhile the mother of Shuaib, Sabitha Madathil, after meeting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who was in the city, said that he has assured that things will be looked into.
"My son is innocent and has done no wrong. Just one notice was recovered from him, but he has absolutely no links with the Maoists," said Madathil.
Meanwhile the mother of Fazil said if this is the way things are going, then anyone can be taken into custody by the police and false cases can be thrust upon anyone.
"He was forced to shout pro-Maoist slogans by the police when he was being taken away in the police jeep," said Fazil's mother.
Condemning the police action in a very strong manner was the State secretary of the CPI, Kanam Rajendran who said the whole arrest and the way things are going does not augur well for democracy and also the Left government.
"It appears there is some conspiracy, as the arrest took place the very same day that Vijayan was in the city. The Left does not support detention under UAPA, as this is a draconian Act. The police have to act according to the policies of the Left and if it does not happen, then appropriate action has to come," said Rajendran whose party is the second biggest ally of the Vijayan government.
CPI-M politburo member M.A.Baby said that it is in no way acceptable the way the police has handled this case and charged them under UAPA.
The Kozhikode unit of the CPI-M also condemned the way UAPA charges was put on the youths.
Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the arrests of the CPI-M workers and charged with UAPA, when the Left rules the state is baffling.
"It's strange that UAPA charges are being levelled against those who have expressed ideological issues. At the same time the stoic silence of the CPI-M on the recent fake encounter when the police gunned down four Maoists is surprising," said Chennithala.
But State BJP spokesperson M.T.Ramesh said that it's very surprising that there's a big furore when an arrest has been made for anti-national activities.