Kannur: Taking a U-turn after top leaders of the ruling CPM slammed the Kerala police, a young activist, who was held and reportedly slapped with UAPA charges, was released Tuesday.
Addressing media, Kerala police chief Loknath Behera said that Nadeer, the activist, was not arrested by the police.
"We took him into custody suspecting him of having links with Maoists and questioned him. We have now released him as there is no evidence against him," Behera said.
It was on Monday, a day after Malayalam writer Kamal C. Chavara was slapped with sedition charges for disrespecting the national anthem on his Facebook post, the police picked up Nadeer (27), an activist who had called on Chavara in hospital, over the youngster's alleged Maoist links. The police had reportedly slapped Nadeer with Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a law to prevent activities against the nation.
Iritty DySP's office had also told Onmanorama Monday that Nadeer was charged under the UAPA.
However, the SP directed the police officers to free Nadeer Tuesday after CPM veteran V.S. Achuthanandan and party's state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan slammed the force over the arrests.
The police version now is that it lacks conclusive evidence against Nadeer. The sudden change of mind raises questions as the police had earlier said that it was proven that Nadeer was one of the six Maoists who visited a tribal colony at Aaralam in Kannur and distributed pamphlets on March 3.
The police had taken him to the tribal colony Monday to gather evidence.
Interestingly, in August, 2015, Nadeer had written in a prominent Malayalam weekly about how police were framing those involved in human rights activities. He had also questioned the Maoists' approach of achieving political goals through violence and killing.