Kerala

Senior Kerala politician P.C. George arrested in sexual assault case

Senior Kerala politician P.C. George. File

Senior Kerala politician P.C. George. File | Photo Credit: S. Mahinsha

The Museum police on Saturday arrested Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) leader and former legislator, P. C. George, on the charge of behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner towards a woman named as prime accused in the politically stormy solar investment fraud case that rocked the Oomen Chandy government in 2013.

They have booked him on the charge of outraging the modesty of a woman under sections 354 and 354 (A) of the Indian Penal Code. The police are likely to produce him before a magistrate soon.

High drama and vindictive politics marked Mr. George's high-profile arrest.

The six-time legislator from the Poonjar constituency in Kottayam said the police case was "false, fabricated and orchestrated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to exact political vengeance".

He warned Mr. Vijayan to brace for a "decent" payback. Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) State president said Mr. George was the victim of a political witchhunt.

Mr.George alleged the complainant was Mr. Vijayan's underling. She was the prime accused in an elaborate scheme to defraud investors by falsely promising them good returns on "non-existent" solar farms.

Mr. George alleged she had become a cat's paw of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

The party had used the person to "ensnare" a galaxy of Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Oomen Chandy, in a sex-for-political patronage case. The CBI was investigating the case.

"The person had asked me to testify as a witness in her favour against Congress leaders. I demurred and earned her ire", he said.

The Museum police had secured Mr. George's custody from the CB team questioning him at the Government Guest House, Thycaud.

While being escorted to the police vehicle, Mr. George allegedly identified the complainant by name,drawing questions from a woman media person about the percieved impropriety of the statement.

Mr George reportedly retorted whether he should name the woman journalist instead.

Other journalists protested the purported remark, resulting in a heated back-and-forth. General Education Minister V. Sivankutty condemned Mr. George's comment. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) is reportedly poised to lodge a formal complaint.

Meanwhile, Mr. George's family blamed Mr. Vijayan for "foisting" a false case on the ex-MLA. They said they would meet Mr. Vijayan in-person to air their grievance.

Twists and turns of characters with apparently opaque motives and questionable antecedents seem to shape the high-profile police investigation into the alleged political conspiracy to denigrate the government by casting it under a "permanent cloud of suspicion" in the gold smuggling case.

The CB had registered the case based on a complaint filed by former minister K. T. Jaleel, MLA.

Mr. Jaleel had alleged that Mr. George, a Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) fellow traveller off late, had conspired with Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the UAE diplomatic baggage case, to denigrate the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government at the behest of the Sangh Parivar.

Soon, the Solar case accused gave a sworn statement before a magistrate allegedly detailing her purported interactions with Mr. George. The Museum police booked Mr. George based on the victim's 164 Crpc statement.

Mr. George is also fighting two hate speech cases in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.


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Printable version | Jul 9, 2022 10:00:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/senior-kerala-politician-pc-george-arrested-in-sexual-assault-case/article65592607.ece