Tamil Nadu

Priest on the run held for ‘hate speech’; remanded

Panaivilai parish priest Fr. George Ponnaiah, who was wanted by the police in connection with the alleged hate speech against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, was arrested in Virudhunagar district in the early hours of Saturday.

After detaining the priest in a place in the Kalligudi police station limits in Virudhunagar district, he was produced before a court in Kuzhithurai and remanded in judicial custody in the evening.

The Arumanai police registered case against Fr. Ponnaiah under 7 sections of Indian Penal Code after his “hate speech” in a meeting organised at Arumanai last Sunday went viral on social media. It triggered instant sharp reactions from the BJP and pro-Hindu outfits.

Demanding the arrest of the priest, the BJP and the pro-Hindu outfits had announced that they would organise demonstrations at Arumanai.

When six special teams of police started searching for him, Fr. Ponnaiah went underground.

Even as he was travelling towards an undisclosed destination in the small hours of Saturday, Fr. Ponnaiah was intercepted by a police special team in Madurai and taken to Nagercoil.

Fr. Ponniah was produced before a court in Kuzhithurai in the afternoon, and was remanded in judicial custody for 15 days.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 8:58:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/priest-on-the-run-held-for-hate-speech-remanded/article35517735.ece

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