After backlash, CM Vijayan puts controversial Kerala Police Act amendment on hold

Cornered by a maze of scams and allegations, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appears to have won round one with the media after coming out with the Kerala Police Act amendment, forcing the aggressive media to change tracks from the various scams to the new amendment, but after a huge backlash, Vijayan decided to not implement it in its present form.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday announced that the state government is putting on hold the controversial Kerala Police Amendment ordinance.

"With the announcement of the amendment, different views arose from different quarters. Concerns were expressed by those who supported LDF and those who stood for the protection of democracy. In this situation, it is not intended to amend the law," said Kerala Chief Minister.

"Detailed discussions in this regard will be held in the Assembly and further steps will be taken in this regard after hearing the views of all parties," he added.

On Monday morning, the entire top brass of the Congress leadership walked down the main road in the state capital and protested in front of the state secretariat.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Vijayan is trying to become another Hitler and under no circumstances would they allow this new law to become effective and minutes after the protests ended, came the news that Vijayan himself has decided against implementing it.

Earlier, the new amendment had come into effect from Sunday.

Off the blocks first was state BJP president K Surendran, who said he is moving the Kerala High Court against this draconian law.

What is Section 118A? In the new amendment, it empowers the police to slap criminal charges on people by interpreting any kind of communication through any medium as defamatory.

In the new 118 A amendment, any violator, be it in any media, including print and TV, online news, or social media, is liable for imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine of Rs 10,000, or with both.

As soon as this new Act was passed, protests came from far and wide. With the sole exception of CPI-M, every other body has condemned it.

It was on Saturday late night that the news first surfaced about the media gag, which left many surprised as this has come from the Vijayan government, who time and again bats for the freedom of the press, not to mention about his regular statements on what happened during the Emergency.

State Law Minister AK Balan while trying to defuse the issue said, "At no cost will there be any gagging of the media and this is nothing but to put brakes on the abuse of people in the social media and the police can give bail immediately."

Source : DNA India