CPM leader criticises chief minister for branding Kozhikode youngsters Maoists

CPM keen to douse fire over UAPA charges on students
Two students of law and journalism, Allen Shuaib (R) and Thaha Fazil (L), who are both full time CPI-M members, were arrested after police recovered Maoist propaganda leaflets from their homes.

In an apparent criticism of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for branding the two Kozhikode men as Maoists, Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary P Mohanan said the chief minister had provided the police version.

"The chief minister reacted based on the information provided by the police. Government can function like that," Mohanan said at a press conference in Kozhikode on Thursday.

“Alan and Thaha are young. CPM has the responsibility to correct them if they made any mistakes. CPM has not shirked from its responsibility of protecting them,” he said.

Mohanan said CPM has not heard Alan Shuhaib and Thaha Fasal, who have been languishing in jail ever since their arrest on November 1, 2019.

Alan, a law student, is Bypass branch member of the CPM and Thaha, a journalism student, a member of Parammal branch.

Mohanan said both continue to be party members. "We have not taken any disciplinary actions against them. They continue to be party members," he said. "We want them to come clean on their own," he added.

The two men have been charged with stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the state police.

The case is being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

What Pinarayi said?

Pinarayi Vijayan had laughed jocularly while stating that Alan and Thaha are Maoists, at a press conference in Thiruvanathapuram in November. "Police investigation had established that they are Maoists," Pinarayi said.

Alan and Thah reacted furiously to chief minister's comments last week. While coming out of the NIA court on January 16, the two had challenged the chief minister to prove their Maoist links.

"We are CPM members. The chief minister should produce evidence to prove his charge against us," they shouted.

CPM's somersault

Mohanan's statement came as a huge surprise as CPM never helped the two men despite being members of the party. Instead, party leadership despised them ever since their arrests.

Mohanan had despised them two times in the last four months.

A day after their arrest, Mohanan had said that Maoists would not have any place in the party.

On November 18, he said Islamic extremists had been supporting Maoists in Kerala. "Kozhikode-based Islamic extremist outfit are providing them support. They are encouraging Maoists and take them along," he said in an apparent reference to Alan and Thaha, at a public rally.

Senior CPM leader and former Kannur district secretary P Jayarajan said on January 17 that Alan and Thaha used the party as a cover to propagate Maoist ideology.

Panel report not yet out

Reports suggested that Alan and Thaha were suspended from the party.

This contradicted Mohanan's claim that the two continue to be party members.

The party had set up a three-member committee to probe the charges against Alan and Thaha. But the report has not been published yet.

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