G Sukumaran and A N Shamseer. (Photo | Express)
G Sukumaran and A N Shamseer. (Photo | Express)

On Puthuppally eve, police get legal opinion to drop NSS protest case

The withdrawal of the case was one of the demands of the NSS, which was irked by Shamseer’s statement.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:   The police on Monday received legal advice that the proceedings against NSS leaders and members, who took part in the ‘Namajapa Yatra’ in Thiruvananthapuram city on August 2 in protest against Speaker A N Shamseer’s statement on Lord Ganesh could be dropped. 

The legal opinion given by Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) Manu R to the Cantonment police said the event “was not illegal, restricted or regulated and the continuation of investigation would be an instance of abuse of process under the law.” Interestingly, the legal advice came on the eve of the Puthuppally assembly bypoll.

The withdrawal of the case was one of the demands of the NSS, which was irked by Shamseer’s statement. The legal opinion said ‘Namajapa Yatra’ was “nothing but related to a religious practice associated with the Hindu religion. Therefore it’s a protected right under Article 25 (1) of the Constitution.” 

He opined that charges of unlawful assembly won’t stand and the police have failed to identify or interrogate any pedestrians or vehicle-users, who could give an independent version to buttress the allegation that the protestors blocked the road. The APP also noted that no other persons or organisations have raised any complaints stating they have encountered any difficulties owing to the acts of the NSS workers. 

It was also pointed out that there was no violence and damage due to the procession and if any obstruction was caused to the public, “it was only a trifle.” The APP said the registration of the case was due to a mistake of fact, and to retain communal harmony and other social reasons, the case could be dropped. However, the APP tried to shield the police officer, who had registered the case, saying he had committed nothing illegal.

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