Out of jail, Grow Vasu demands probe into Maoist encounters

The 94-year-old Naxalite-turned-social activist was acquitted by the Judicial First-Class Magistrate Court, Kunnamangalam, for staging a protest at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital in 2016.

Published: 14th September 2023 06:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2023 06:48 AM   |  A+A-

Grow Vasu ( 94) after his release from jail in Kozhikode on Wednesday. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

KOZHIKODE:  Ayinoor Vasu, popularly known as Grow Vasu, walked out of jail after one-and-a-half months with the satisfaction that he had accomplished his mission. 

The 94-year-old Naxalite-turned-social activist was acquitted by the Judicial First-Class Magistrate Court, Kunnamangalam, in a case related to staging a protest at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital on November 26, 2016, against the encounter killings of Maoist leaders Kuppu Devaraj and Ajith inside Nilambur forests just two days ago.

He was charged with unlawful assembly and causing inconvenience to the public. Though his co-accused were released after they paid the fine, Vasu refused to avail bail or pay a fine. He was then remanded in Kozhikode jail in July.

Coming out of the jail, Vasu reiterated his demand for a judicial probe into the encounter killings. He also alleged that the LDF government was a fascist regime and not a communist.

During the trial, Vasu used court proceedings as a platform to raise the killings of eight Maoist leaders operating in the Western Ghats zone in different encounters. He shouted slogans ‘Western Ghats Martyrs Zindabad’ every time he was brought before the magistrate, forcing the latter to prohibit sloganeering on the court premises. 

Prosecution failed to prove charges against activist Grow Vasu

Photographs of policemen forcibly trying to retrain Vasu and covering his face with a police cap had created a furore, with even Congress leaders, including Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan and MP M K Raghavan lashing out at the government for the ‘cruel treatment’ meted out to the nonagenarian communist leader.

During the trial, Vasu repeatedly told the court that the Maoists were not killed in genuine encounters, but were brutally murdered. For over 10 minutes, he elaborated on the Maoist movement in India and alleged that encounters were staged to get the funds allocated by the Centre for anti-Maoist operations. The court acquitted him after the prosecution failed to prove the charges.

Vasu joined the communist movement at a very young age and later joined the Naxalite movement with A Varghese. He was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment in the Thrissilery police station attack case. After release, he began social activities and was the leader of the Gwalior Rayons Organisation of Workers (GROW), from where he got the name Grow Vasu. At present, he is the state president of the Social Democratic Trade Union.

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