Congress dismisses CPI(M) allegation against Rahul Mamkootathil of forging medical certificate

LoP in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan accused the CPI(M) government of implementing "state-sponsored terrorism" using the police.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 11, 2024 | 9:22 PMUpdatedJan 11, 2024 | 9:24 PM

Rahul Mamkootathil in police custody. (Supplied)

The Opposition Congress on Thursday, 11 January, dismissed the CPI(M)’s accusation that Youth Congress state president Rahul Mamkootathil had submitted a forged medical certificate to secure bail from the court, labelling the claim as the “cheap politics” of the Marxist party.

Mamkootathil was arrested by police from his house in Pathanamthitta early Tuesday morning for allegedly leading violent attacks during a recent march. A court had rejected his bail plea and remanded him to judicial custody later.

Speaking at a programme in Taliparamba in Kannur district on Wednesday, CPI(M) state secretary, MV Govindan, charged that the Youth Congress president had submitted a fake medical certificate to obtain bail.

Also read: Kerala Congress intensifies attack over Youth Congress chief arrest

Challenges CPI(M) to prove allegations

Responding to Govindan’s allegations, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, VD Satheesan on Thursday said, “I challenge the CPI(M) and Govindan, to substantiate their allegations.”

Continuing to criticise the LDF government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over Mamkootathil’s arrest, Satheesan accused them of implementing “state-sponsored terrorism” using police force.

Addressing a press conference, Satheesan claimed that the entire state of Kerala had united to oppose the arrest of the Youth Congress president.

He pointed out that the police even registered a case against him, naming him as the first accused of inaugurating a protest march organised by the Youth Congress recently.

“The government is finding joy in misusing power,” alleged the Leader of the Opposition.

‘CM trying to implement Stalinist policy’

Chief Minister Vijayan was trying to implement the “Stalinist policy” of obstructing and suppressing the political activities of the opposition in modern Kerala, Satheesan said.

However, the ruling CPI(M) on Wednesday, justified the arrest of the Youth Congress president, stating that it was only a “natural procedure” and no one would be allowed to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the southern state.

Govindan said that the Congress should demonstrate courage to face legal action when necessary.

State Public Works Department Minister PA Mohammed Riyas also supported the police action, saying that it was not the first time a youth outfit leader was arrested and jailed in the name of protests.

Meanwhile, the protest march organised by Youth Congress activists, expressing their discontent over the arrest of Mamkootathil, created tension in front of the state Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram, on Wednesday.

Also read: Kerala refuses to rename NHM centres as Ayushman Arogya Mandirs

The arrest

Mamkootathil was arrested by police on Tuesday and a court rejected his bail plea followed by remanding him to judicial custody.

The police deployed water cannons multiple times to disperse protesters attempting to breach a barricade placed in front of the Secretariat complex.

As Youth Congress workers persisted in exchanging heated words with police and attempted to dismantle the barricade, water cannons were utilised to clear the protesters from the area.

Subsequently, the protestors sat on the road, raising slogans against both the police and the LDF government in the state.

Earlier, inaugurating the protest march, Shafi Parambil MLA criticised the police and said that they were acting like “servants” of the Left government and party leaders.

The southern state witnessed widespread protests on Tuesday following the arrest of Mamkootathil who was held in connection with a Secretariat march organised last month to highlight alleged atrocities against Youth Congress workers during the state government’s Nava Kerala Sadas programme led by Vijayan.

The court in Thiruvananthapuram remanded Mamkootathil in judicial custody till 22 January, after considering a medical report that indicated he had no major health issues.

(With PTI inputs)