Kerala

Court remands P.C. George in judicial custody in hate speech case

P.C. George being brought to General Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday for a medical check-up before producing him at court.

P.C. George being brought to General Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday for a medical check-up before producing him at court.

A magistrate court here remanded Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) leader and former legislator P. C. George in judicial custody for 14 days in the Ananthapuri Hindu Mahasammelan hate speech case. Subsequently, the police incarcerated him at the Thiruvananthapuram District Sub Jail, Poojappura.

The Fort police had arrested him early Thursday for allegedly airing communally inflammatory remarks at the meeting in mid-May.

Earlier, the court had revoked Mr. George's bail in the case after the magistrate found the ex-MLA had violated bail conditions by repeating the divisive theme at a public function at Vennala in Kochi days later.

The court perused footage and other digital evidence submitted by the prosecution, and also factored the State's plea that the magistrate had not heard the prosecution while releasing Mr. George on bail.

After the mandatory medical examination, the police produced Mr. George at the magistrate court in Vanchiyoor. The check-up included a COVID-19 test, which reportedly turned negative.

Mr. George's counsel said the politician had raised no complaint against the police. The magistrate had specifically asked the arrestee whether the police had mistreated or manhandled him.

‘Political witch hunt’ says lawyer

However, Mr. George's lawyer said he argued in court that his client was the victim of a political witch hunt. He said that the police had hounded him after picking him up from Kochi on Wednesday and taking him to Thiruvananthapuram.

Later speaking to reporters outside the court, Mr. George's son and lawyer, Shawn George, alleged that the government seemed desperate to jail his father, possibly to squeeze some political advantage in the Thrikkakara Assembly by-election.

"Time will testify that Mr. George spoke the truth against overwhelming odds", he said.

‘Gift to extremists:’ Surendran

BJP State President K. Surendran described Mr. George’s “midnight arrest” as the CPI(M) gift to “extremists”, saying that the party had orchestrated the arrest to appease fundamentalists on the eve of the Thrikkakara by-election.

CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the law had taken its natural course.

Political theatre had marked Mr. George's arrival in the capital. BJP workers showered his car with flower petals as it entered the precincts of the police camp.


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Printable version | May 26, 2022 7:47:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/court-remands-pc-george-in-judicial-custody-in-hate-speech-case/article65462788.ece