No govt. nod for Tom Jose’s article: Pinarayi Vijayan

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‘It will have no impact on the Crime Branch probe into Maoists’ killings in Agali forests’

Chief Secretary Tom Jose had not secured the permission of the State government for publishing an article justifying the police action against Maoists at Manjakatti in Palakkad, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.

Replying to a clarification sought by Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on a newspaper article published by Mr. Jose in the Assembly on Wednesday, Mr. Vijayan said that the article would not have any impact on the ongoing Crime Branch inquiry into the incident.

Mr. Chennithala had raised the issue in the Assembly on Tuesday, but Mr. Vijayan had then sought time to read the article and promised to respond in due course.

‘Undesirable’

Taking up the issue again, Mr. Chennithala said the article had triggered a row. The observations made by Mr. Jose at a time when the government had ordered a Crime Branch inquiry were undesirable.

“We feel that the article would influence the inquiry. A person like the Chief Secretary making observations on civil and human rights is not correct. This has created much concern among the people and hence the government should clarify,” he said.

‘Personal views’

Mr. Vijayan clarified that the views expressed by Mr. Jose in the article that was published on Tuesday were personal and had nothing to do with the government. The article had drawn flak for its observations justifying the police action. It also said that Maoists did not deserve sympathy. Mr. Chennithala had described the article as prejudiced.

CPI reaction

CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran reacted strongly to the article. If Mr. Jose had published the article without permission, the government should take a call on it. This amounts to contempt of court. The Left parties are opposed to Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, he said.

Left Democratic Front convener A. Vijayaraghavan said the district court took a decision on the UAPA cases on the basis of the evidence furnished. Such cases would be more widely discussed once it comes up before the High Court. Mr. Vijayan had already clarified the government stance on UAPA and the government would express it, he said.

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