Kerala Writer and theatre activist, Kamal C Chavara alias Kamalsy Prana, was taken into police custody on Sunday and charged with sedition for allegedly insulting the national anthem. He had made a post on Facebook about the national anthem in Malayalam, which is an excerpt from his novel ‘Smashanangalude Nottupustakam’.
A case was registered against Chavara at Karunagappally police station when someone from Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of BJP, registered a complaint against him.
The post he made on Facebook as translated by The News Minute.
“In a school in Kerala, there were 44 students who were named after 44 rivers of Kerala, which had all dried up. The teacher never bothered to meet the requests of those students, including the request to go to the toilet to urinate. At 4 pm every day they had to stand up for the National Anthem. Since urinating was more important to me than ‘Jana Gana Mana’, I was the most undisciplined student.”
This was seen as his protest against the Supreme Court directive to play the national anthem in cinema halls before screening movies.
He was charged under section 124(A) of IPC (sedition) and was later released. Police there had asked him to surrender either before the police station in that town or a local court.
After his release from custody, Chavara complained of uneasiness and was admitted to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH).
His friend arrested in hospital
When Chavara was admitted to the hospital, one of his friends came to visit him. Police detained him for suspected Maoist links. The man was identified as Nadeer Gul Mohammed, and a case was registered against him by police in Kannur district under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Following Nadeer’s arrest, Chavara began a hunger strike at KMCH demanding his release. “Police arrested Nadi, while he went to get food for me. I have started a hunger strike, until the case against him is withdrawn and Pinarayi Vijayan conducts discussions with human rights activists,” Kamal wrote on Facebook.
This has been a trend recently when people have been arrested for their Facebook posts.
In this case, police also arrested Chavara’s friend without complete evidence against him.
Intervention By State government
The CPI(M) government of Kerala has intervened in the sedition case issue. Pinarayi Vijayan, the Home Minister, has instructed the police to remove the sedition charge. The police have done the same. The state government said that there is no case of sedition against anyone on the national anthem issue in Kerala.
Police let off Nadeer Gul Mohammed
The police today let off Human Rights activist Nadeer Gul Mohammed from its custody, saying there was “no evidence” found against him. DGP Loknath Behara told reporters “He was picked up for questioning to clear some doubts. However, since there was no evidence against him, he was let off today.”