The NIA court has granted bail on stringent stipulations to Allen Shuhaib and Taha Fazal, the students charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), indicating that the National Investigation Agency failed to have found charges under draconian UAPA. Allen and Taha, a Law student and a Journalism student respectively have been in jail since November 1, 2019.
Meanwhile, NIA has lodged a petition challenging the allocation of bail to the students arrested under UAPA. The court has rejected the petition lodged by National Investigation Agency, and the youths after their 10-month-long incarceration have been released from jail today. The NIA court observed that the charges slapped under UAPA are not applicable if, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the accusations are prima facie true. The court holds the view that the pamphlets, banners, seized from the accused related to the” burning social and political issues” such as calling for the implementation of the Gadgil committee report for the protection of Western ghats. condemnation of encounter killing of Maoists, protest against police atrocities, abrogation of Jammu, and Kashmir special status. The made the remarkable statement the programs and activities projected by the prosecution were public protests related to the current issues. The court further added that mere possession of books on communist ideologies, Maoism, class struggle does not amount to the charges slapped on the accused.
The special NIA court in Kochi allowed bail on conditions including directing the accused directed to surrender their passports. Besides, the court has directed the duo to sign the register at a local police station on the first Saturday of every month. The court strictly warns them not to have any connection with the Maoist groups. The NIA has submitted a charge sheet slapping charges under sections, 38, 39 of the UAPA. which deals with an association with a terrorist organization. and supporting it with the intention to further its activities. The accused students were also charged with section 13 of the UAPA (Punishment for unlawful activities) and 120B of the Indian Penal code (Criminal Conspiracy). Allen Shuhaib and Taha Fazal had been arrested by Thunderbolt, the anti-insurgency force formed by Kerala Police. Later NIA took over the case. Pinarayi Vijayan lead LDF government had invited flak over handing over the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Both Allen and Thaha were CPI (M) workers in Kozhikode. After the court had rejected bail to the students, the CPI(M) expelled them from the party. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had reinforced in the assembly that the arrested student duo were Maoists. and his remark sparked widescale controversy.