Minor boy's hate sloganeering: Police nab two PFI workers

Screengrab of the rally / Photo : Mathrubhumi News

Alappuzha: Police have nabbed two PFI workers as part of the probe into the minor boy's provocative slogans during a PFI rally here. They are Ansar, a native of Erattupetta, who carried the child during the incident, and Navas, PFI district president. Reports suggested that police will book Popular Front Alappuzha district secretary and the president in the case.

Earlier, Alappuzha south police filed a case based on section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code which deals with the offence of promoting enmity between different religious groups after the visuals of the incident came out. A case has been registered against the organisers of the rally and those who brought the child to the event.

Meanwhile, the High Court pointed out the need for barring minors from participating in political rallies and chanting slogans. According to reports, the court will consider taking up a POCSO case over the incident.

A short video of a boy sitting on the shoulder of a person during the "Save the Republic" rally held by PFI on May 21 and raising provocative slogans went viral on social media.

Taking serious note of the incident, police said they had launched a preliminary investigation into it.

The provocative sloganeering by the child evoked criticism from various quarters.

PFI, on an internal note, said such slogans were against their policy and would take a look into the matter.

"We have given approved slogans which were to be raised in the public rally at Alappuzha. Thousands of party workers and others joined the rally protesting against the RSS. The visual of a boy raising slogans came to our notice now. Those slogans were not approved or given by the organisers of the rally. It's not the policy of the organisation to provoke or raise provocative slogans," PFI State secretary C A Raoof said in the note.

Raoof said steps would be taken to avoid such shortcomings.

Hours before the PFI rally, Bajrang Dal workers took out a "shaurya rally" in Alappuzha raising slogans that "the country cannot be handed over to anti-nationals and communalists".

Last year, Alappuzha witnessed back-to-back killings of a state leader of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the PFI, and a state BJP leader within 12 hours.

(with inputs from PTI)

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