After arrests, Kerala Police take to threatening students for protesting

By Shafeeq Alingal

Kozhikode: Wafa, a first year Sociology student here at Farook College, hardly expected that she would be under constant threats from police when she left her house last week to attend a protest march. The march was organised under the aegis of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) Kozhikode district committee in a protest against the ongoing police assault against students of University of Hyderabad.

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Wafa along with her friends is now facing imminent police arrest even after she was granted bail on conditions on March 29. The police, which arrested the SIO activists on false charges, are now taking up all efforts to repeal the bail by forging another array of charges against this girl, her colleagues and SIO and Jamat-e-Islami leaders.

Wafa was arrested by the police during the march and taken to Head Post Office in Kozhikode for demanding the release of the students who were arrested in Hyderabad University protests. The police took 25 students into custody without any provocation. “I believed that the cops would spare me along with my girl colleagues. But they took three girls to Town Police Station, where we were rudely treated by the police persons,” Wafa told Twocircles.

After arrests, Kerala Police take to threatening students for protesting

According to Ameen Hassan, SIO functionary, the arrest was without any provocation. “The march was held with prior permission. The police even didn’t place a barricade to hinder the students,” Ameen said. The police resorted to lathi charge against the activists, who were shouting slogans sitting in front of the office, and an order was issued by senior officials to arrest the students. The arrested students, included two seriously injured Sayyaf T K of West Hill Government Engineering College and Shaheen Abdulla of Farook College. “Even after repeated pleas, the police didn’t take the injured to hospital. Sayyaf, who was unconscious due to injury on his head, was hospitalised after long six hours of arrest,” said Saeed TK, who was among the arrested. Saeed went on to say that they were denied food and water. The police
didn’t allow the parents of the juveniles in the custody to meet them.

There were five juveniles taken into custody during the march. “The police had to inform the parents and the child rights probation officer about the arrest. The police violated the juvenile rights by denying them opportunity to meet their parents,” said Ameen. The students in custody were provided by food and water by the SIO and Jamat-e-Islami leaders, who were allowed to enter the police station late in night. The police officers slapped some of the students on face while they were taken into custody in police bus.

Police slap false charges, distort FIR

With slapping false charges against the students and their leaders, the Kozhikode City Police seemed to have taken a similar route to that of the Delhi Police in targeting the students on false motives.

The students’ leaders allege that the police slapped false charges on them and distorted FIR by writing down slogans they didn’t raise during the march. The protesters shouted ‘Down Down Hindustan’, the FIR says, however the students denied that any such slogan was raised. “The students didn’t raise any anti national slogan. They shouted ‘Down Down Hindutva’. Some of the police officers, who are associated
with RSS, deliberately distorted the slogans in order to impose sedition charges on the students” said Ameen.

After arrests, Kerala Police take to threatening students for protesting

However, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Kozhikode, on March 28 granted bail to SIO activists, who were imposed various charges including spreading communal hatred. The public prosecutor told the court that ‘Down Down Hindustan’ was written by the police by mistake. The bail was granted on the condition that all accused should appear before the police twice a week. They were also asked to surrender their passports.

Litany of false charges continue

The police, which faced heavy criticism from the court, is now trying to repeal the bail granted for the students by imposing an array of false charges against them along with their leaders.

Following the granting of the bail, the students organised a March expressing joy over the release. The police registered a case against this march on various charges including contempt of court and unlawful gathering. Cases were taken against 15 students, who were released from jail, along with Jamat-e-Islami state secretary Shihab Pokkotoor, SIO state president Nahas Mala and Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO) state president P Ruksana.

The FIR said that the students violated the bail condition by raising slogans against the court.

“The police are now looking at ways to haunt the students and the leaders,” said Ameen.