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‘Negative’ Modi case

Thiruvananthapuram, June 10: A college principal in Kerala is in a spot of bother. Some students had taken it upon themselves to decide what “company” Narendra Modi should keep.

The principal of the government polytechnic in Kunnamkulam, Thrissur, and six others were booked today following protests over the college magazine featuring the Prime Minister in a list of “negative faces” along with slain sandalwood smuggler Veerappan and executed 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab.

The magazine had been brought out by the SFI-controlled college union for the academic year 2012-13.

Principal M.N. Krishnan Kutty, staff editor P.K. Gopi, the owner of a local press and four students have been booked under IPC sections 500 (defamation), 501 (printing defamatory matter), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 120 (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (acts by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

The alleged mischief appears in an inside page of the magazine titled LITSOKNIGA. Under the heading “Negative Faces”, it portrays mugshots of 13 personalities, including Veerappan, Kasab, LTTE leader Prabhakaran, Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, George Bush and Modi.

The cover page features a collage of personalities like Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, Adi Sankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda, Noam Chomsky, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, Diego Maradona, Mother Teresa, Che Guevara, Jesus Christ and Albert Einstein. Interestingly, Saddam Hussein and bin Laden also figure in the collage.

Student editor Praveen Kumar sought to play down the controversy, saying the magazine, whose name literally translates as Face Book in Russian, “was released in February this year, much before Modi had become Prime Minister, and they had no intention to malign him”.

The principal, however, said while the magazine was released in February, it was distributed among students this month.

BJP activists took out a protest march to the college and burnt copies of the magazine. They also filed complaints with police demanding registration of an FIR against the authorities.