21-year-old Alan Shuhaib is a law student and activist based in Kerala. He was arrested on November 1, 2019 by Pantheerankavu police officials in Kerala alleging Maoist links. Alan was taken into the custody as the police allegedly spotted them with 24-year-old Thaha Fasal and another man – identified by police as the absconding third accused Usman – under “suspicious circumstances”. Subsequent raids were conducted at Alan’s residence, from where the Kerala police allegedly confiscated posters linked with Maoists. The case was later taken up by the National Investigation Agency.
Charges and Allegations
In the case, NIA had submitted chargesheet against them invoking offences under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA which deal with association with a terrorist organization and supporting it with the intention to further its activities and under Section 13 of the UAPA (punishment for unlawful activity) and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy).
The NIA and Kerala police alleged that Alan is associated with and rendered support to banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) organisation.
“A provocative thought does not ipso facto prove preparation for crime”, a Special Court in Kerala’s Kochi observed while granting bail to Alan Shuhaib arrested in Kerala over suspected Maoist links, after nearly ten months of incarceration on September 11, 2020. The Court noted the mere possession of books on Communist ideology, Maoism, class struggle, etc., does not prove anything adverse against the accused. “Since there is not even a single allegation of violent overt act against the accused, at this stage, possession of an internal document of the banned organisation, to the most, only indicate a leaning on the side of the accused towards this banned organisation,” the Court said in the judgment.
The NIA and Kerala police are however demanding for the cancellation of bail in higher courts.