Kochi: The High Court on Wednesday sought an explanation from the state government on a petition to declare the arrest and imprisonment of those displaying black flags as part of the protest illegal and unconstitutional. The court has asked this to the government while admitting a petition questioning the action of the Palarivattam police in arresting two transgenders who came to the chief minister’s event in Kaloor dressed in black.
Even the freedom to wear black clothes was denied at the place on the ground that the Chief Minister was going to be present in the function. The petition says that in a democratic country, protesting by wearing black cloths or flaunting black flags is not a criminal offense and detaining people for this is an illegal act. The court adjourned the petition to the 11th of this month after the government sought clarification on the petition.
After Swapna Suresh, an accused in the infamous Gold smuggling case, repeatedly raised allegations against Chief Minister Vijayan on his alleged involvement in gold smuggling, the opposition staged a widespread black flag protest against the Chief Minister. But the police was careful not allow any material black in color, including black cloth even on the stage or in the audience of the program attended by the Chief Minister. People were forced to take off their black masks and and those wearing black clothes detained. This was followed by the controversial detention of transgenders.