Prakash Karat says student activists 'wrongly' booked underUAPA, urges Ker govt to undo it Kochi, N

Prakash Karat says student activists 'wrongly' booked underUAPA, urges Ker govt to undo it Kochi, Nov 7 (PTI)Dubbing the UAPA as a draconian law,senior CPI-M leader Prakash Karat on Thursday claimed two Leftstudent activists, arrested for alleged Maoist links inKerala, have been 'wrongly' booked under it and urged theparty-led LDF government to intervene and 'undo this mistake'.

The state police have 'wrongly utilised' the UnlawfulActivities Prevention Act (UAPA) against Allan Shuhaib andTaha Fazal, arrested on Saturday in Kozhikode, and this was'unjustified', he told reporters here.

'Our party is against the use of the UAPA in this caseinvolving the two students. The UAPA is a draconian law whichwe have always opposed.... I think the police have wronglyutilised this act (against the students). And I am sure thatthe government will step in to do the needful to undo thismistake,' Karat, a CPIM politburo member, told reporters here.

The two student activists were arrested for allegedlydistributing pro-Maoist pamphlets.

'The use of UAPA in this case is unjustified. Whether youfind pamphlets or materials, that cannot be the basis forinvoking UAPA,' Karat, a former general secretary of the CPI(M), claimed.

'I am sure that the government will find some legal waysto see that this cases do not proceed under the UAPA. I thinkthe government will have to do that,' Karat said.

His statement comes amid mounting pressure on thegovernment from the CPI, a key partner of the CPI(M)-led LDF,that the UAPA charges against the students be withdrawn.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had informed the stateassembly that pamphlets and pro-Maoist books were seized fromthe homes of the two students and a case registered undervarious sections of UAPA.

While a mobile phone was seized from Allan's house, Taharaised pro-Maoist slogan when he was taken to his house forevidence gathering. Besides, books, laptop and a memory cardwere seized, he had said.

However, the chief minister had added that the governmentwould not allow the 'misuse' of UAPA and would look into theissue seriously.

A court in Kozhikode on Wednesday had dismissed the bailapplications of the two student activists.

Thaha Fazal and Allan Shuhaib, who are students ofJournalism and Law, respectively, and CPI(M)'s branchcommittee members, were arrested on November 2, triggeringwidespread criticism in the Left-ruled state.

They were held days after the Kerala Thunderbolts, anelite command force of the state Police, gunned down fourMaoists including a woman in an 'encounter' in the forestareas of Attapady Hills in Palakkad district.

The two arrested students have been remanded in judicialcustody till November 15.

The brother and aunt of Taha Fazal have alleged thatpolice have presented 'fabricated evidence' and said they havefaith in the judiciary. PTI TGBVS VS