Former Kerala legislator arrested

July 2nd, 2008 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Kollam (Kerala), July 2 (IANS) A former two-time Communist Party of India (CPI) lawmaker P.S. Supal was arrested early Wednesday near here for forcibly freeing his party supporters from police custody after their arrests for a scuffle with Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists. The police arrived at Supal’s home at Anchal, near here, around 2.30 a.m. and took him into custody. He and fellow activists last week forcibly freed their supporters who were taken into police custody. They were earlier arrested following a scuffle with the activists of the CPI-M during an election to a cooperative bank near Supal’s home.

Following his arrest, angry CPI activists Wednesday staged protests at Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram district.

Senior CPI leader Prakash Babu said what happened was totally unacceptable.

“Supal is a responsible person. The police should have asked him to surrender but instead he was arrested to please someone,” Babu told reporters here.

Trouble was brewing in the run-up to the cooperative bank election for which the CPI allied with the Congress, irking the CPI-M.

On Saturday, the polling day, disturbances broke out and the election was cancelled.

In the Kerala assembly Wednesday, the opposition legislators walked into the well of the house, protesting that even a former legislator does not get any respect from the police.

State Home Minister and CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in reply to a submission raised by CPI legislator K. Raju on the arrest of Supal said that the government does not agree with the manner in which he was arrested.

“I have ordered an inquiry by a top police official into it,” said Balakrishnan.

The relations between the two communist parties have for long been strained and it has even affected the smooth functioning of the V.S.Achuthanandan government.

Supal was released on bail Wednesday afternoon.

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