Kerala CM in tight spot over UAPA and Maoist killings

 Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan

With the Kerala police remaining firm on its stand that Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act need to be invoked against the two CPM workers held recently and also denying allegations of fake encounter pertaining to the killing of four Maoists, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seems to be in a tight spot.

There has been tremendous political pressure from within the CPM against invoking UAPA sections against the two CPM workers, Alan Suhaib and Taha Fazal, hailing from Kozhikode in North Kerala, especially since the two hailed from traditional CPM families.

While the Chief Minister assured them that the misuse of UAPA won't be allowed, the police remained firm on the stand that there were evidences of Maoist links of the two, including materials seized from their houses and evidence of the two attending meetings of Maoists. A local court even denied bail to the two on Wednesday considering the police's stand.

With regard to the recent killing of four Maoists in the forest areas of Agali in Palakkad, CPI, which is a key coalition partner of the ruling left-front, took a firm view that it was a fake encounter. A CPI delegation even visited the forest areas for a fact-finding and gave a formal report to the CM suggesting that there were no signs of an encounter at the spot.

However, in a bid to substantiate its stand that it was a genuine encounter, the police even made public video footages claimed to be firing by Maoist and arms training in the forests. An article written by Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose condemning Maoists attacks also indirectly backs the police's stand.

These developments have put the Chief Minister in a tight spot with pressure from within CPM to revoke UAPA against the two CPM workers and from the CPI to initiate action against cops for the alleged fake encounter killings, while the police were firmly justifying their actions.

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