The 94-year-old Ayinoor Vasu, a veteran communist, trade union leader and human rights activist has been arrested and sent to jail on July 29, 2023 in connection with a protest against the extrajudicial killings of two Maoists activists in Kerala seven years ago. The jailing of the nonagenarian activist better known as Vasu Ettan (Vasu the elder) in a seven-year-old case is a prime example of vindictive policing widely practiced in Kerala.
Vasu has refused to accept the case foisted upon him by holding that he hasn’t committed any crime by holding a protest against the lawless action by the security agencies. It may be recalled that eight Maoists activists including two women were subjected to extrajudicial killings in Kerala during 2016-2020 by the security forces. Human Rights activists and several others have questioned the official narratives connected with these extrajudicial killings and termed them as ‘coldblooded murder’.
A CDRO fact finding team went to investigate on the Neelambur encounter. The CDRO team was prevented by the RSS goons, with the help of police at the entry point into the Neelambur Forest, citing the reason that there is no permission to enter in the Forest from the Forest officials. Almost all the RSS goons tried to attack the FF team. Then we were forced to come back and convene a press meet. It is extremely wonder that the police and RSS goons join hands to prevent a fact-finding in a Left ruled state.
Now,the jailing of a veteran political activist in such a case is an example of the growing intolerance and denial of the right to dissent and protest witnessed across the country. We call upon everyone believing in democracy and human rights to register their protest and condemn the obnoxious action of jailing a 94-year-old person. We urge the Government of Kerala to quash all judicial proceedings against Vasu and release him from jail unconditionally. We also call upon the Government of Kerala to quash all similar cases framed against social and political activists in the state.
(Asish Gupta) (Tapas Chakraborty) (Kranthi Chaitanya) Coordinators, CDRO
Constituent Organisations of CDRO:
Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab); Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Haryana), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association(West Bengal); Bandi Mukti Committee(West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR TamilNadu); Coordination for Human Rights (Manipur); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights; Peoples’Committee for Human Rights (Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum(Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (Haryana), Campaign for Peace & Democracy in Manipur, Delhi; Janakeeya Manushyaavakasha Prasthanam, Kerala