For political prisoners, pandemic period was worst: Kerala student accused in UAPA case

The Supreme Court on 28 October granted bail to Thwaha Fasal, a journalism student in Kerala, accused under the draconian UAPA for allegedly having Maoist links.

Thwaha and another student Allan Shuhaib, from Kerala, were arrested by Kerala Police in November 2019 under the UAPA. The NIA took over the case later. In September last year, nearly ten months after custody, the NIA Court granted them bail observing that the NIA failed to establish a prima facie case under the UAPA, against the accused. After two months, the Kerala High Court canceled Thwaha’s bail while not interfering with Allan’s.

Kerala left government had come under heavy criticism when the Kerala police booked the case against students under UAPA. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan defended the arrest, stating that the two were not CPI(M) cadre but ‘Maoists’. Allan and Thwaha, who were both members of the CPI(M), were ousted from the party in February after they were arrested.

Thwaha speaks to Maktoob’s Shaheen Abdulla.