Kerala: PFI leader Yahya Thangal arrested in provocative slogan case

Thangal, on Saturday, had also made derogatory remarks against judges of the Kerala High Court

PTIUpdated: Sunday, May 29, 2022, 12:44 PM IST
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Representative Image | File

Alappuzha (Kerala): A leader of Popular Front of India (PFI) was arrested on Sunday morning in connection with the alleged provocative sloganeering by a minor boy during a recent march organised by the outfit in this district.

A senior police officer of the district confirmed the arrest of Yahya Thangal in the case.

Thangal was taken into custody as he was one of the organisers of the event where the slogans were allegedly raised.

Thangal, on Saturday, had also made derogatory remarks against judges of the Kerala High Court.

On this issue, police have not yet taken any action as the high court has to take cognisance of the same, the official said.

He said the police on its own cannot initiate action in the matter.

The police had already arrested the minor boy's father on Saturday.

A purported video, in which the child could be seen sitting on the shoulder of a person and raising offensive slogans during the "Save the Republic" rally held by the PFI on May 21, had gone viral on social media platforms.

Subsequently, a complaint was lodged with the police prompting it to register a case.

The father of the boy, before being taken into custody had told reporters that the controversial slogan was not taught by anyone but the boy had learnt it while attending similar programmes before.

He had also said it was not for the first time that his son was raising such a slogan in a programme and many such instances of him raising similar slogans could be seen on YouTube.

So far, more than 20 people have been arrested and remanded in the case and more people were being taken into custody for questioning from various places, the boy's father had said.

According to police sources, the boy would be sent for counselling at a government centre soon.

Erattupetta resident Anas, who carried the minor boy on his shoulders, was the first person to be arrested in the case.

In the FIR filed based on a complaint by Vijayakumar P K, police invoked various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Kerala Police Act and arraigned PFI Alappuzha district secretary Mujeeb and Navas as accused along with other identifiable people.

Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class), 505(1)(b) (act against the public tranquility), 505(1)(c), 505(2) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and Section 120(o) of KP Act are included in the FIR.

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