Six police personnel who are also district functionaries of the Kerala Police Association have been placed under suspension in connection with a row over a poster placed near the Armed Police camp here hailing Congress leader K. Sudhakaran, MP.

Association district president K.M. Manoj, Secretary K.J. Mathew, vice-president V.V. Manoj and executive committee members C.O. Pushparaj and K. Krishnan and former secretary M.G. Joseph were placed under suspension as directed by Superintendent of Police Anup Kuruvila John pending inquiry. The suspension followed a dispute over the poster placed near the Armed Police camp here on January 26 that led to protests by supporters of the MP.

The poster had been originally positioned near the camp on January 5 when the Chief Minister’s mass contact programme was held at the Police Parade Ground opposite the camp. The poster hailed Mr. Sudhakaran for releasing Rs. 10 lakh for the swimming pool at the Kerala Armed Police Battalion IV here. The Superintendent of Police, on seeing the poster before the Republic Day ceremony started on Thursday, ordered to remove the board immediately. Though the board was removed by the association office-bearers, it was re-instated after a group of supporters of Mr. Sudhakaran assembled at the spot to protest against the SP’s order. The association office-bearers were suspended for violating the SP’s order, the police said. The poster was removed on Friday morning by the Town Police.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary P. Jayarajan accused Mr. Sudhakaran and his supporters of politicising the Republic Day. Alleging that Mr. Sudhakaran had already politicised the association in the district, he said that the official ceremony associated with the Republic Day was now being used for political purposes. He also said that some police officers had colluded with Mr. Sudhakaran and his supporters to place the poster. He said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who is also holding the Home portfolio, owed an explanation on this issue.

More In: Kerala | National | Kochi