The campus magazine for 2013-14 was released on June 4 and one of its pages titled ‘negative faces’ featured a photograph of Modi.

Six persons, including four students of a government polytechnic in Kerala have been arrested on the charge of defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi by featuring his photograph in their college magazine under a list of “negative faces” along with Adolf Hitler, George W Bush, Osama bin Laden and a few others.


Those arrested last night included lecturer and staff Editor Gopi and magazine designer Rajeev.

The college principal M N Krishnan Kutty, who was among the seven persons booked on June 10, was not arrested as he was ill, police said.

All of them were later released on bail, police said.

They were arrested on a complaint by Yuva Morcha State Vice President K K Aneeshkumar.

Police had on Wednesday raided the polytechnic college at Kuzhoo here and confiscated 392 copies of the magazine, a computer and hard discs of the designers of the magazine.

Meanwhile, five students, closely associated with printing and publishing of magazine and all of whom are activists of the student union controlled by a pro-Left campus outfit, have been suspended pending an inquiry, college officials said.

On June 10, they were booked by police and cases registered against them for offences under Indian Penal Code (IPC), including concealing design to commit offence, wantonly giving provocation, punishment for defamation and printing matter known to be defamatory.

The campus magazine for 2013-14 was released recently and one of its pages titled ‘negative faces’ featured a photograph of Modi. Others in the collage included sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran, Adolf Hitler, al-Qaeda chief Laden and George W Bush, police said.


Members of a youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party found an issue of the magazine after some students at the college complained about it. The group’s president immediately called the local police, who filed charges against the editorial staff of the magazine and the college principal.

The Students’ Federation of India, an arm of the Communist Party of India, has a strong presence at the college, according to one of the group’s leaders reached by telephone and the vice president of the B.J.P. youth wing. The Communist Party of India has intermittently been in charge of the state government in Kerala as well.

The incident comes after a series of riots in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra, after derogatory images of the deceased leader of a right-wing party there were shared on social media.  One Muslim man was said to have been killed in the riots by members of a right-wing Hindu group.

Two hundred copies of the controversial issue of the magazine had been distributed, and police officers confiscated the rest of the 400 copies, according to the local police.

“With the intention of maligning the image of our honorable prime minister, Mr. Modi, the left-supported group of students and college published his photograph alongside high-profile terrorists,” said K.K. Aneesh Kumar, the vice president of the B.J.P.-affiliate student group. “It was a horrible, wrong and criminal act.”

“The main issue is why should the local Communist Party be guiding what should be published in a government-funded college?” he said.  “This is incitement to violence.”

Praveen Chanaserry Sivadasan, a 20-year-old engineering student and the magazine’s editor, who belongs to the Students’ Federation of India, was released on bail Wednesday and did not apologize for the issue.

“Modi is a negative face. He oversaw the killing of so many in the 2002 riots,” he said, referring to the Gujarat riots, in which nearly 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed while Mr. Modi was chief minister of the state.

Mr. Modi has retained a lasting stigma that he has struggled to shake off, especially with the country’s liberals.  In 2012, a Supreme Court investigative team declined to bring charges against Mr. Modi, saying there was not enough evidence.

“We should have the right to criticize our political leaders,” Mr. Sivadasan said.


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