Kochi

Provocative sloganeering | Boy at the PFI rally traced to Palluruthy

A boy raised ‘provocative’ slogans at a Popular Front of India (PFI) rally held in Alappuzha on May 21, 2022.

A boy raised ‘provocative’ slogans at a Popular Front of India (PFI) rally held in Alappuzha on May 21, 2022. | Photo Credit: SURESH ALLEPPEY

Four days after a video clip emerged of a boy raising provocative slogans at a Popular Front of India (PFI) rally held in Alappuzha, the police seem to have traced him to Palluruthy within Kochi city police limits.

A team from Alapuzha South, which is investigating the case registered in connection with the incident, is in the city probing his whereabouts. District Police Chief (Kochi City) C. H. Nagaraju confirmed that the boy has indeed been traced to Palluruthy.

"We are tracking the details though nothing specific can be shared at the moment," said Arun S, Station House Officer, Alapuzha South, said.

Though reports are doing the rounds that police have been to his house on Wednesday late night only to find it to be locked, police declined to confirm it. Palliruthy police said that they have little role in the matter as the case is being investigated by Alapuzha South police.

The boy was traced to Palluruthy after pursuing and verifying several leads during the course of the investigation. Since the video featuring the boy sitting on the shoulder of a man and raising incendiary slogans went viral, the police had arrested PFI Alappuzha district president Navas Vandanam and Ansar Najeeb, a PFI activist from Erattupetta in Kottayam.

In their desperation to trace the boy at the centre of what has now turned out to be a simmering political controversy, police reportedly had been to multiple locations including Erattupetta since he remains crucial to finding the people who made him shout those slogans.

"While police cannot arraign the boy as an accused as per the Juvenile Justice Act, his mentors who instigated and made him raise such slogans can be booked. Obviously, his parents are also likely to be involved in the incident. Matters like where he is educated and whether is a member of any children's outfits of PFI also will have to be looked into," said Mr. Nagaraju.

Once the boy is located, a report will have to be sent to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) considering his delinquent behaviour. CWC will then have to arrange for his counselling in a safe and secure environment.

The incident has assumed political connotations in view of the forthcoming Assembly byelection to Thrikkakara.


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Printable version | May 26, 2022 3:37:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/provocative-sloganeering-boy-at-the-pfi-rally-traced-to-palluruthy/article65462977.ece