LDF walks out of Assembly over `misuse` of KAAPA
Thiruvananthapuram: Alleging gross misuse of the Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act (KAAPA) to suppress political activities of LDF workers, especially those belonging to CPI(M), opposition LDF members today staged a walkout from the Assembly here.
Seeking leave to bring an adjournment motion on the detention of several CPI(M) workers under the Act across Kerala, party leader EP Jayarajan said cases registered against them were totally in violation of the rules under the Act and had been filed to extract "political vengeance".
However, rejecting the charge, state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said it was not the UDF government`s policy to use the Act to settle political scores even as he agreed to review the cases as suggested by the opposition.
However, he made it clear that the government cannot remain silent over the anti-social activities carried out by a person just because the individual was a political worker.
Government is committed to taking stern action against those engaging in criminal activities and endangering the safety of the public, he said, adding that the Act itself contains provisions to ensure against misuse.
Of the 34 KAAPA cases registered against CPI(M) workers, 28 were rejected by the State Advisory Board set up under the Act, Jayarajan said while charging that it clearly showed the UDF government was on a `witch-hunt` of its political rivals.
He brought to the notice of the House the cases registered under the Act for offences like picketing of the District Collector`s office and blocking of roads, all of which, he pointed out, were among the democratic forms of agitations.
Speaker G Karthikeyan disallowed leave for the motion following the Home Minister`s reply, leading to a walkout by the opposition in protest against the government`s refusal to allow a debate on such an important matter.
Before staging the walkout, opposition leader VS Achuthanadan asked the government to take a re-look at all the cases registered under the Act against LDF members.
He also said that people would react strongly if the government `unleashes` such suppressive measures without any justification.
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