Kerala: Students protest against move to jail Alan Shuhaib again, allege role of CPI(M) body in targeting student activist

Friends of student activist Alan Shuhaib who is on bail in a UAPA case Friday organised a protest in Kerala’s Thalassery against Kerala Police and Students’ Federation of India’s coordinated move to ask the National Investigation Agency to cancel Alan’s bail in the case.

On the basis of an anti-ragging case filed by the cadres of CPI(M)’s student body SFI and social media posts of Alan, Kerala Police had filed a report to NIA alleging Alan had violated bail conditions. Multiple sources suggest investigation agency submitted social media posts of Alan Shuhaib and his friends to the NIA court as evidence to cancel his bail and to prove his Maoist link.

Although only a dozen of students attended Friday’s protest, more than 30 police officers were present at the venue. Main demands of the protesting students are to ‘stop the NIA- SFI coordinated hunt against Alan Shuhaib’, ‘release all political prisoners’ and ‘repeal UAPA.’

The demonstrators also criticised SFI cadres’ move to fabricate students supporting Alan Shuhaib as terrorists. SFI members had allegedly circulated Whatsapp messages accusing Alan and his friends studying in Palayad Law college in Kerala’s Kannur district as Maoist sympathisers.

Speaking at the protest, Democratic Students Association’s Rejaz M Syddeek said: ”SFI activists had stoooped to the level of colonial British rulers and RSS by labelling student dissenters as terrorists and by helping state and central police agencies.”

“It’s a myth that students and activists living in Kerala are under safe zone. We all are under state surveillance,” student leader Unais PK said.

All India Democratic Student Organisation Kerala state vice president Akhil Murali, student activist Aathique Haneef and Alan’s college-mate Saleek CA are among others who addressed the protesters.

Earlier this month, the student body of CPI(M) had filed a complaint against Alan Shuhaib for allegedly assaulting students at Kannur Palayat Law College. Based on this, Dharmadam police registered a case. However, Alan Shuhaib denied SFI’s allegation and called the complaint a “fabricated one.”

Alan alleged that Students’ Federation of India (SFI) was taking revenge for complaining about a ragging incident occurred last year in which, according to him, SFI activists had involvement.

The social media patrolling report of Alan Shuhaib prepared by the Cyber Crime Enquiry Cell, Kozhikode, which reported that Alan had been supporting the banned CPI (Maoist), was also submitted to the court.

Alan who was arrested along with other student Thwaha Fasal under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in November 2019 for suspected Maoist links, was granted bail by Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in 2020 September. The court, while releasing him on bail, had imposed a condition that he should not indulge in any offences while out on bail. 

Alan was 21 while the time of arrest.

The Kerala left government had come under heavy criticism when the Kerala police booked the duo under UAPA. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had defended the arrest, stating that the two were not CPI(M) cadre but ‘Maoists’. Alan and Thaha, who were both members of the CPI(M), were ousted from the party soon after they were arrested.