Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition CPI-M led LDF members in Kerala Wednesday staged a walkout in Kerala Assembly to protest government's refusal to hold a debate on alleged 'misuse' of Kerala Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, by falsely implicating CPI-M workers in criminal cases.
However, replying to the notice for an adjournment motion on the issue moved by James Mathew (CPI-M), Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala rejected the Opposition charge, saying the government's stand on the issue was clear that provisions of the Act should not be used to settle political scores.
He said five CPI-M activists in Kozhikode and Kannur district were barred from entering the districts for one year after it was found that they indulged in 'repeated criminal activities' and were listed as 'known rowdies'.
The Minister also said the Act has a provision that enables the accused to file an appeal before an Advisory Board against the police order.
Mathew pointed out that cases registered against the party activists were in connection with protest march held for public cause like price rise and other issues. "The charges will not come under the definition of anti-social (prevention) Act", he added.
Before the walkout, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan alleged that government was misusing the provisions in the Act to suppress public protest and it was unconstitutional.
"Big time criminals are on run in the state, but government targets party workers with the Act," he added.