Thiruvananthapuram: CPM veteran V.S. Achuthanandan Monday criticised the police for registering a case against Malayalam writer and theater artist Kamal C. Chavara on charges of showing disrespect to the national anthem, terming it as a "serious issue".
"Reports say that a case has been registered against Kamal C Chavara for showing disrespect to the national anthem in his novel. Police said the action followed the complaint filed by Yuva Morcha with the DGP. If this is true, it is a very serious matter," Achuthanandan, the chairman of Kerala state administrative reforms committee, said in a statement here.
It only gives an impression that the administration is moving towards a fascist character, he said.
The former chief minister also flayed the police for allegedly assaulting a party branch secretary and his wife at Fort Kochi the other day.
The police personnel who was responsible should be suspended from the force, he added.
It was not by instilling fear among people the morale of police force has to be maintained, Achuthanandan said, in a clear reference to CM Pinarayi Vijayan's statement that the government would not do anything that dampen the morale of the cops.
Kamal C Chavara, alias Kamalsy Prana, was taken into custody in Kozhikode Saturday on charges of insulting the national anthem in a Facebook post after a case was registered against him by police at Karungapally in Kollam a few days ago after a complaint from Yuva Morcha activists.
A case under IPC section 124A (sedition) was registered against him, police had said.
Kamal had posted some excerpts from his novel "Smasanangulude Nottupusthakam" in the post, which the Yuva Morcha alleged was an insult to the national anthem.
The incident comes close on the heels of the arrest of 12 persons earlier this month for not standing up when the national anthem was being played before the screening of a film at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).
The Supreme Court had recently directed that cinema halls across the country must play the national anthem before the screening of a film and people should stand up as a gesture of respect.
(With agency inputs)