Two more held for stalling woman’s eviction

The Kalamassery police arrested two activists of the Anti-Sarfaesi Peoples Movement invoking non-bailable charges, including rioting, for stalling the execution of a court order for attaching the property of a woman at Pathadipalam on Monday.

V.C. Jenny and P.J. Manual, general convener and convener respectively of Anti-Sarfaesi Peoples Movement, were arrested from their houses at Varappuzha around 1.30 a.m. on Friday. Besides, Shaiju Kannan, chairman of Manathupadam Shelter Protection Council, was taken into custody from his house at Marottichuvadu, though his arrest was yet to be recorded.

The arrested were charged with multiple sections of the IPC, besides non-bailable charges invoking provisions of the Explosive Substances Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

They were produced before the First Class Judicial Magistrate court and remanded. With their arrest, the number of people arrested in the case rose to five. Though attempts were made to secure bail for three persons who were arrested earlier this week, it was not granted.

Accused persons

The police have arraigned 45 persons as accused in the case for staging a fierce protest in front of the house of Preetha Shaji at Manathupadam in Pathadipalam when Revenue and police officials, armed with a court order, went to evict her.

All the accused were slapped with non-bailable charges.

The protesters had prevented the officials from initiating proceedings, besides threatening to immolate themselves. They also clashed with the police who in turn resorted to a minor lathi-charge.

Asked if the attachment of the property would be proceeded with as planned, police sources said they would await intimation from the Advocates’ Commission and direction from the court, which has sought a report on Monday’s incidents by making the DGP the respondent.

More arrests

Incidentally, more arrests invoking the draconian charges have been reported, despite the government batting for a more humanitarian approach to the eviction of the woman’s family. Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac had also made a Facebook post against forcible eviction.

The family of Preetha has been facing eviction threat over defaulting on a loan by one of her relatives. Shaji, her husband, had stood as guarantor to one Sajan for a loan of Rs. 2 lakh by mortgaging his property of over 22 cents at Pathadipalam in 1994.

However, Sajan defaulted on the loan, and the now defunct Lord Krishna Bank served notice on Shaji. The bank was later amalgamated with Centurion Bank, which in turn got amalgamated with HDFC Bank.

When the dues crossed Rs. 10 lakh, the bank approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in 2005, and the mortgaged property was put up for sale. The property was then sold through e-auction to one M.N. Ratheesh, who later moved the court seeking police protection to evict the family and obtained a favourable order.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Sarfaesi Peoples Movement in association with the Manathupadam Shelter Protection Council is going ahead with arrangements for staging a day-and-night protest in front of the DRT in Ernakulam on July 17 and 18.

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