Kerala activists targeted by Police, Right wing for expressing solidarity with Kashmir

By Staff Reporter

Kozhikode: The protests in Kashmir and the manner in which the Indian Army has handled these protests has angered a number of citizens in the country, and over the past week, there have been several meetings organised by concerned citizens in various parts of the country to condemn the human rights violations in the region. However, people who have voiced opinions against the security forces are now in the firing line of the right-wing Hindus, and in Kerala, they have zeroed in on Roopesh Kumar, a Dalit documentary maker.

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Kumar, who is also an activist, told media persons that he had fallen victim of the hate campaign initiated by Hindu extremists in social media after he attendeded a protest meet in solidarity with Kashmir, which was organised by a Facebook collective in Kannur on July 17.


“Messages saying I am puppet of Islam and organizing militant training at Pzhayangadi in Kannur are circulating in social media,” he said.
Roopesh along with Afthab Ellath and 15 other activists were arrested by Kerala Police following the protest meet.

Kumar has decided to take legal action against the campaigners citing they were intolerant towards the democratic mode of protests and alleged that the campaign kick started after a conspiracy.

Meanwhile, police and intelligence continue to haunt the protestors. One of the protestors Afthab was called by the police saying IB demanded his personal details. Besides, the police arrived his home at Thalassery while he was absent. Activists allege that the police were trying to portray the activists ‘terrorists’ in the name of expressing solidarity for Kashmir.

Afthab, while talking to a local online portal, alleged that even the police case was based on a visibly Hindutva goon’s request and they blindly acted on it without verifying any fact, even without asking any other witness available on the scene. He denied the claims that there were anti national and anti army slogans. “It was a cultural program meant to create a democratic dialogue regarding the human sufferings going on in Kashmir,” he said.

Afthab alleged that the police was biased and one of the policemen threatened the protesters of booking them under UAPA. “One of the reason was his assumption that we were all Muslims. So when he found the name of Akhil he exclaimed in surprise, asking if he was not a Muslim? This is the dangerous bias of the police that Kerala public sphere should seriously discuss about,” he said.