After the Black Diwali arrest and bail some well wishers have made some efforts to help me. Veteran Brig M PG Menon, AVSM arranged a copy of the Kerala Police Act, 2011 (which has replaced the '61 Act'). Veteran Maj Gen P Subhas, VSM had explored contacts to see if the case can be kept away from the court and found it futile. Veteran JWO Sivasankaran also made an effort to pay up any fine in the police station if it could be done so to close the case and reported that I may have to pay about Rs 100/- as fine only when the case came up in the court! In the meanwhile I studied the Kerala Police Act and based on the knowledge so gained, sent a letter to the District Superintendent of Police. This letter is reproduced in this blog.
Maj (Retd) P M Ravindran
2/18, 'Aathira', Sivapuri, Kalpathy-678003
Tele: 0491-2576042; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
File: Pers/DSP-261112 26 Nov 2011
The District Superintendent of Police
District Police Office
Yakkara Road, Palakkad-678014
Sub: Illegal arrest and detention- request to exercise powers under sec 22 of the KPA, 2011.
Ref: Sec 22, 29, 32, 39, 40, 116,120, 125 and 126
1. On 13 Nov 2011, Minister of Defence, A K Antony, was in station to inaugurate a function in the Auditorium of Hotel Indraprastha at 1530h.
2. Armed forces veterans had been agitating in various parts of the country seeking redresal of their many problems. The agitation at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi where veterans had gathred on many occassions to collect and return their hard earned medals to the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, the President of India, and also submitting memorandum signed in blood have been reported adequately in the media. Given this situation and the rare visit of the Defence Minister to Palakkad I had tried to mobile a protest in front of the venue, that is Hotel Indraprastha from 1500h. I had reached there by about 1450h and had with me 1000 copies of a leaflet titled ‘Pattalakkaar sahikkunna thyaganagal aarkkuvendi‘ and a banner which amoung other things demanded the resignation of the Defence Minister. The intention was to display the banner across the road, opposite Hotel Indraprastha, and distribute the leaflet to those going in to participate in the function in the hotel complex. I had earlier requested the members of the Defence Services Officers‘ Institute to join the protest. I had also requested the President, Indian ExServicemens League (Palakkad Block) to convey the message to the members of the League in the district.
3. Since I had 10 minutes to spare to see if any other armed forces veterans would be joining the protest, I waited. Then I met one of the councillors of the Palakkad Municipality who was also one of the organisers of the function being inaugurated by Mr A K Antony and walked upto him on the driveway of the hotel. There he sought to see the leaflet and the banner and I had obliged. At this Mr P B Prasobh, Dy SP, Palakkad, standing next to him, ordered my arrest and I was whisked away to the Town South Police Station.
4. At the Police Station I sought to make a telephone call but was denied.
5. Around 1900h, I was told to get 2 persons to provide surety as a prelude to granting me bail. I rang up Dr P S Panikkar and soon he along with two others came to the police station.
6. We were then made to sign some forms in which the space for the charges against me were found left blank. On enquiry, we were told that it was under the Police Act and had to do with creating public nuisance. We left after signing the documents – the charges space still blank- by about 2000h.
7. A perusal of the KPA 2011 indicates that the arrest was illegal.
8. Also the provisions of the Supreme Court orders had not been complied with.
9. In fact till now I am ignorant of the charges framed against me and also how my intention of distributing leaflets and holding a banner on the road side could in way have been interpreted as a public nuisance. To the best of my knowledge and understanding, I was only asserting a democratic right to protest. In fact I have mostly been a victim of bandhs, held illegal by the apex court itself but enforced as hartals therafter and even denial of access to the offices of the district administation by even more blatantly illegal seige of the complex by groups owing allegiance to various political parties.
10. For reason given above, I request you to exercise you power under Sec 22 of the KPA and undo the damage done by the Dy SP, Palakkad.
(P M Ravindran)