KOCHI: CPI Ernakulam district secretary P. Raju has approached the High Court for clearance to go to Damascus to attend a conference.The police had refused to give him clearance as he is an accused in a case connected with the protest march taken out to the DIG office in Kochi on July 23.
Mr Raju had taken a passport under the Tatkal system to attend the conference in the Syrian capital from September 8. He had also received the visa. The Special Branch police, however, recommended that he should not be given clearance as he was the leader of the march taken out to the DIG office. The march has become a major controversy with the district unit of the CPI alleging police beating up the party workers resulting in injuries to many, including party MLA Eldho Abraham. The issue also created a turmoil within the CPI with state secretary Kanam Rajendran giving a clean chit to the police.
The refusal of the police to issue travel clearance to Raju is likely to ignite further controversy as the police action has been considered as vindictive. Mr Raju in his petition submitted that the case charged against him was linked to a mass agitation as a political activist and that it cannot be used for denying clearance for travel abroad.
The march was taken out demanding action against the Njarakkal circle inspector for maltreating CPI leaders and activists, including Mr Raju, during the clashes between AISF and SFI activists in a local college earlier.