Mohammed Riyas, the Kerala Chief Minister’s son-in-law has been remanded to judicial custody by the Kozhikode Chief Magistrate Court. He has been arrested and sent to jail for two weeks. The case pertains to amongst others, the destruction of public property where the accused had vandalized the Kozhikode Air India office, in September 2010. Two other co-accused have been remanded including T V Rajesh, a CPM MLA from Kannur, and P P Dineshan, the then DYFI Area Secretary.
Back then Riyas was the DYFI district president and Dineshan the area secretary. Rajesh was the State Secretary and had also inaugurated the agitation. All three have a history of violence and this incidence happened while protesting against the cancellation of flights. These three had not appeared before the court even though warrants were pending against them for a long time.
Other DYFI leaders including Varun Bhaskar and C M Shamseer who were also involved, did not appear before the court during the hearing period. They were forced to oblige when it came to contesting for local body elections and later on obtained bail. As per the FIR registered with Nadakkavu police station, there were other accused like M Gireesh who had appeared before the court earlier and were acquitted.
This action against Rajesh, Riyas, and Dineshan comes at a time when they themselves want to contest the upcoming assembly elections. All three had approached the High Court for anticipatory bail but were directed to appear before the trial court on the 17th of February following which they appeared before the Kozhikode Magistrate who rejected their bail application and remanded them.
The Kerala High Court had earlier asked the local court to adjudicate the matter immediately, following which the accused were ordered to appear before the court. The Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate while remanding them noted that the accused had secured bail immediately after the incident and failed to appear before the courts even after various notices and warrants were served against them. Their lawyers informed that they will move bail applications to higher courts immediately, in the long-pending case.
The communists are planning to have contest Riyas from the relatively safe seat of Beypore which they have been winning for the past forty years. Incidentally, PM Abdul Khader IPS was the Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode when the Marad massacre (Marad falls in the Beypore constituency) took place in early 2002 and Abdul Khader is Riyas’s father. Riyas is now married to Veena who happens to be the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter. Could these be coincidences or are they all interconnected?
Will this be a hindrance for Pinarayi Vijayan who is trying to provide legitimacy to his son-in-law who has never been democratically elected as yet or will he be bailed out yet again, contest elections and win from Beypore, only time will tell. Though morally and ethically wrong this could very well happen in ‘secular’ Kerala. Another relevant point to be noted is that any criticism of Pinarayi Vijayan nowadays draws instant flak from not just a section of the communists but also radical elements from the Muslim community, especially from the Malabar belt.
If the Hindu voters are able to connect the dots, they should act before it’s too late.
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