Kozhikode (Ker), Jan 22 (PTI) The Indian Union Muslim League, a key ally of the Congress-led UDF in Kerala, on Sunday alleged the properties of its innocent workers were attached by the state government as part of the recovery proceedings initiated by it against the arrested leaders of the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI).
The properties of the arrested PFI workers in Kerala are being attached in connection with the damage to public property, in violence, during a hartal called by the outfit in last September.
The recovery proceedings against those involved in the violence were initiated two days after the Kerala High Court expressed displeasure over the government's delay in executing its order in connection with it.
Accusing the government of "hunting the innocent workers of IUML" in the name of action against the PFI, senior party leader P K Kunhalikutty alleged that it is being done to "save the real culprits involved in the violence" during the hartal.
"The government should make it clear from where they have got such a list (for attachment process). Various representatives of people, those who are actively working in other political parties and people who don't have any criminal cases are all being targeted. The real complaint is against a particular organisation. But now, we suspect that innocent people are being targeted in order to save the real culprits (involved in violence)," Kunhalikutty told reporters.
IUML state general secretary P M A Salam alleged that innocent workers of the party were being targeted by the state government in the name of the court-ordered action against errant PFI leaders.
The IUML leaders said the issue will be raised in the state Assembly session beginning on Monday.
Meanwhile, state Revenue Minister K Rajan on Sunday said the attachment of the properties of arrested leaders of the PFI will be completed by Monday. He said the attachment of properties of those who damage public property can be done only on court's direction.
The minister said a report detailing the attachment process will be submitted before the High Court on Monday.
"The revenue recovery process of attaching the properties belonging to the now-banned PFI leaders will be completed by Monday. The attachment process is being done as directed by the High Court. A report in this regard will be submitted before the high court on Monday," Rajan told the media in Kochi.
He said it was being done under various provisions of The Revenue Recovery Act.
The state Revenue Department had on Friday initiated a state-wide attaching properties of arrested leaders of the PFI as part of the recovery proceedings in connection with the damage to public property, in the violence, during a hartal called by the organisation in September last.
The PFI leaders are accused in the case connected with the hartal called by the organisation against the nation-wide raids on PFI offices and arrest of its leaders following its ban.
The high court had on January 18 directed the state government to complete the recovery and submit a district-wise report by January 23.
It had also said there was no need to issue notices prior to carrying out the recovery proceedings.
The court had expressed displeasure over the delay as the state government last month had assured to complete the recovery by January 15.
The government had on November 7, 2022 told the court that a loss of Rs 86 lakh was incurred due to the damage to property during the violence in the state-wide hartal.
The government had also submitted that a loss of Rs 16 lakh was suffered by private persons during the violence.
The State police have registered a total of 361 cases and arrested 2,674 people, it had said then.
Earlier, the High Court had asked the banned PFI and its ex-State general secretary Abdul Sathar to deposit Rs 5.2 crore with the Home Department towards damages estimated by the KSRTC and the state government in connection with the hartal-related violence, saying they must be held accountable for it.
Sathar, when he was the State general secretary of the outfit, had called for the hartal against the nation-wide raids and arrest of its leaders, and then allegedly absconded.
Hours after the PFI was banned, he had issued a statement saying the outfit had been disbanded in the wake of the Home Ministry's decision and subsequently, he was arrested. PTI RRT RRT SS SS