P.C. George taken into custody after court cancels bail

The Fort police have indicted Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) leader and former legislator P. C. George for uttering communally inflammatory comments to provoke riots.

The city police took Mr. George into custody in Kochi late on Wednesday after a magistrate court here revoked his bail for allegedly violating bond conditions.

They conveyed Mr. George to the Armed Reserve Camp here, cocooned in a cavalcade of police vehicles.

An official said the police would record Mr. George's arrest and produce him before the magistrate after the mandatory medical examination. The court was likely to remand him to judicial custody.

Political theatre marked Mr. George's arrival in the capital early on Thursday. Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) workers showered his car with flower petals as it entered the precincts of the police camp.

They shouted anti-government slogans and expressed solidarity with the detained leader. A phalanx of television cameras broadcast Mr. George's arrival live.

Mr. George’s son and lawyer, Shaun George, said his father had refused hospitalisation in Kochi and courted arrest willingly.

“Mr. George accepted the court’s decision. The magistrate has no option but to remand Mr. George in judicial custody. Mr. George’s defence lawyers would petition the district court for procuring bail,” he said.

The Judicial First Class Magistrate-II, Thiruvananthapuram, who rescinded the bail order, had said the police were free to arrest Mr. George.

The Fort police had booked Mr. George for allegedly inciting hate against a particular minority community at the Ananthapuri Hindu Sammelan.

The police case was that Mr. George had attempted to stoke communal discord by flagging divisive dog-whistle issues.

The police alleged that Mr. George had portrayed inter-faith unions as "love jihad". They also accused the politician of underscoring an "unfounded" fundamentalist conspiracy to increase the numbers of a particular minority community to disempower others.

Mr. George's controversial comments had triggered a political storm. Initially, the opposition joined the government in condemning Mr. George's remarks and called for his arrest.

However, it pivoted against the administration after the court immediately released Mr. George on anticipatory bail.

Congress later accused the State of wilfully not opposing Mr. George's plea in court with an eye on fringe "fundamentalist votes" in the Thrikkakara Assembly constituency.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2022 2:38:37 am |