Kerala

One held over ‘provocative sloganeering’ in PFI rally in Alappuzha

The police on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, took a person into custody after a purported video in which a boy could be heard raising ‘provocative’ slogans during a march organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Alappuzha last week went viral.

Alappuzha South police circle inspector S. Arun said no arrest has been made yet. "A person is in custody and we are interrogating him," Mr. Arun said.

On Monday, the police registered a case against those who brought the child to the rally and its organisers under sections including 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and 120 (o) (causing, through any means of communication, a nuisance of himself to any person by repeated or undesirable or anonymous call, letter, writing, message, e-mail or through a messenger) of the Kerala Police Act.

The video shows a minor, sitting on the shoulder of a man and chanting hate and incendiary slogans apparently against other religions. In the video, people around the child could also be heard repeating the slogans. Sources said the person in custody was one who carried the boy on his shoulders.

The provocative sloganeering has drawn widespread condemnation.

The PFI conducted a rally on the Alappuzha beach as part of its ‘Save the Republic’ campaign on May 21. Earlier in the morning, workers of the Bajrang Dal took out a motorcycle ‘Shaurya ’ rally in Alappuzha town against terrorism.

Following the rallies, the police had registered cases against Bajrang Dal and PFI workers for obstructing public way/line of navigation.

The two rallies and sloganeering come five months after the murders of leaders of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Bharatiya Janata Party — with communal overtones — rocked the district.

SDPI State secretary K.S. Shan died after he was attacked by assailants in Mannancherry on December 18. Less than 12 hours after the murder of the SDPI leader, a gang hacked to death BJP’s OBC Morcha State secretary Ranjith Sreenivas in his house at Vellakinar in Alappuzha municipality the next morning.

The police have arrested members belonging to both the RSS and SDPI workers.


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 1:01:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/one-held-over-provocative-sloganeering-in-pfi-rally-in-allapuzha/article65456085.ece