Kerala Police Arrest Student Activists For Pro-Palestine Posters At Starbucks, Stirring Controversy

Kerala Police Arrest Student Activists For Pro-Palestine Posters At Starbucks, Stirring Controversy

Kerala Police arrest student activists for pro-Palestine posters at Starbucks, sparking controversy. Students released on bail as charges filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Siksha MUpdated: Monday, January 08, 2024, 10:52 AM IST
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On Sunday, Kerala Police apprehended six student activists from Farook College in Kozhikode district for affixing pro-Palestine boycott posters on a Starbucks store near Kozhikode beach. The students, associated with the Fraternity Movement, were released on station bail after presenting two sureties.

As per reports from MaktoobMedia.com, charges filed against them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code include house-trespass (IPC 448), wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot (IPC 153), mischief causing damage (IPC 427), and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention (IPC 34). The police have seized the students' car as evidence.

The incident, as per the First Investigation Report filed at Kozhikode Town Police Station on January 4, involved the sticking of "Free Palestine" and "Caution Contents May Fund Genocide" posters on the Starbucks store's glass door.

Waseem Mansoor, a co-accused and leader of the Fraternity Movement at Farook College, clarified to MaktoobMedia.com, that the group aimed to create a video highlighting brands supporting the genocidal war on Gaza. The students claim that the actions caused no property damage or provocation, as the posters were promptly removed by the store staff.

This marks the third incident at the Kozhikode Beach Starbucks, where numerous pro-Palestinian gatherings have taken place over the last three months.

According to MaktoobMedia.com, the accused students expressed no remorse, stating that their intention was to raise awareness about brands supporting Israel in the genocide against Palestine. Fathima Meharin, one of the accused, emphasized global calls for boycotting pro-Israel brands and the ongoing protests worldwide.

Starbucks has faced global boycott pressure for its perceived pro-Israel stance during the Gaza conflict. The controversy escalated when Starbucks filed a lawsuit against workers for a pro-Palestinian social media post. In December, Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan attributed the protests to "misrepresentation on social media."

Fraternity Movement Kerala State Vice President Labeeb Kayakodi criticized the police's heightened charges, asserting that calls for boycott are not incitements to rioting. Labeeb called for clarity from the Kerala government on why such cases are being registered for pro-Palestinian protests and activism.

The Fraternity Movement's Kozhikode wing announced a protest march to demand the withdrawal of the case against the students. Starbucks store manager Dileep N, the complainant, declined to comment on the case.

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