Ashraf Moulavi, 40, State vice-president of the Social Democratic Party of India, was detained by the police on his arrival at the Kochi airport here on Wednesday.

He has three cases pending against him in Muvattupuzha, Cantonment police station and Chengamanad on various offences, including taking out a protest march following the hand-chopping incident and thus causing communal tension. Activists of Popular Front of India had chopped the palm of T.J. Joseph, professor of Malayalam at Newman College, Thodupuzha.

Following this incident, Moulavi applied for a fresh passport under tatkal scheme. By the time police verification was done after issuing the passport and objections were cited, he had left for Qatar. Subsequently, a look-out notice was issued against him.

On the basis of this notice, the emigration wing stopped him on his arrival here at 4.30 a.m. on Wednesday by Qatar Airways and Muvattupuzha police was alerted. However, he produced the bail order secured by him and was released soon after.

SDPI members took out a protest march to the office of the Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural. Mr. Moulavi also demanded a probe into the issuance of lookout notice against him, while he was given bail in the cases registered.

However, police sources said that the passport will be confiscated as he had not revealed details regarding the cases in his tatkal passport application. Moulavi left for Qatar on March 30 before the police verification on his passport application was completed, they said.

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