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Kerala

PFI Rally Hate Speech: Two Arrested, Kerala Police Registers Case Against Organisers

The Alappuzha South police booked the case following a preliminary investigation after a video in which a boy, who is sitting on top of a man's shoulder and shouting provocative slogans against Muslim and Christian communities went viral on social media. 

A young boy, wearing the PFI flag, was seen sitting on the shoulders of a man and raising provocative slogans during the rally. (Photo: Screengrab of the viral video)

THE KERALA police on Monday evening registered a case regarding the provocative slogans raised by a child during a rally organised by the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Alappuzha district on May 21. 

A case was registered under section 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the organisers as well as against those who brought the child to the rally.

The police have also registered a case against PFI Alappuzha district president Nawas Vandanam and District Secretary Mujeeb in the matter.

The Alappuzha South police booked the case following a preliminary investigation after a video in which a boy, who is sitting on top of a man’s shoulder and shouting provocative slogans against Muslim and Christian communities went viral on social media. 

Even as several persons were seen to have been repeating the slogans raised by the child, the PFI in a statement on Monday said that the provocative slogans raised by the boy were not approved by the outfit. “A lot of workers from various places attended the march. When volunteers noticed this slogan, they prevented raising that slogan,” said PFI officials. 

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had sent a letter to the Kerala police chief stating that it had received a complaint with regard to the child-raising such slogans and pointed out that using children for such activities was a violation of Section 75 and Section 83 of Juvenile Justice Act 2015. 

Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram constituency, Shashi Tharoor had also expressed his shock with regard to the incident. Taking to Twitter, Tharoor said that hate speech and intimidating slogans are deplorable regardless of those using them. 

“Opposing communalism means opposing communalism of all sides,” said the MP. 

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