Thwaha Fasal, age 23, is a law student and activist from Kerala. On November 1, 2019, Pantheerankavu police officers in Kerala arrested him on suspicion of Maoist ties. Thwaha was brought into custody after police allegedly noticed him in “strange circumstances” with Alan Fasal, 21, and another male, named by police as Usman, who had fled the scene. Subsequently, raids were performed at Alan’s apartment, where allegedly Maoist-related posters were seized by the Kerala police. The National Investigation Agency took up the investigation later on.
Charges and Allegations
In this case, the NIA had filed charges against them under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA, which deal with association with a terrorist organisation and supporting it with the intent to further its activities, as well as Section 13 of the UAPA (punishment for unlawful activity) and Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for unlawful activity) (criminal conspiracy).
The NIA and Kerala police alleged that Thwaha is associated with and rendered support to banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) organisation.
“A provocative thought does not de facto prove preparation for crime”, a Special Court in Kerala’s Kochi observed while granting bail to Thwaha Fasal 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.