‘Security withdrawn’ for Kerala HC judge who criticised CPI(M) govt

Kerala High Court judge Justice B Kemal Pasha and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who heads the CPI(M)-led government in the state.

The Kerala police on Saturday ‘abruptly withdrew security provided to retired High Court judge Justice B Kemal Pasha, who had been vocal against the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s failure in handling various cases, sources said here.

The judge alleged that the security was withdrawn for raising his voice against the policies of the government over various issues.

He also said the state Police Association could have had a hand in its withdrawal. However, the association has denied having anything to do with the issue.

The state government or police have not yet officially reacted to the judge’s charge.

Justice Kemal Pasha said four armed police guards deputed for his personal security were withdrawn by the government.

When contacted, he told PTI, “The decision was taken at the Home Secretary level on Friday. The police personnel left me ending their service today (Saturday).”

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The retired judge noted that the security was withdrawn abruptly at a time when he was facing threat from Islamic States terror operatives in Kerala.

Justice Pasha said he was given armed police security after the investigating agencies found that he was one of the targets of the people arrested in connection with the 2016 Kanakamala IS terror module case.

Alleging the security was withdrawn for raising his voice against government policies over various issues, including the alleged killing of four Maoists in an encounter by police in Attappadi recently, the eminent jurist said he would continue to protest its wrong policies.

“I had pointed out the failure of the police system in handling the alleged sexual assault and murder of two minor sisters in Walayar in Palakkad district in 2017. It was because of the failure of police and prosecution that the accused in the sensational case were acquitted.”

Also read | Kerala woman identifies family members who joined IS

“I had also criticised the arrest of two students in Kozhikode under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA),” he said.

The judge alleged that the state police association was upset with him for reacting sharply against their failure in such cases. “That could be the reason for the withdrawal of my security,” he said.

The police association strongly rejected the charge, saying they have no role in the decision taken by the Home Secretary-level security review committee.

“We respect Justice Kemal Pasha. We invite him often in our conferences. We like his criticism against us. But the police association has no role in deciding whom should be given security and whose security should be withdrawn,” Kerala Police Association General Secretary C R Biju told PTI.

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