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Father of Kerala Boy Who Raised Controversial Slogans in PFI Rally Arrested

A case has been registered against the organisers of the rally for "promoting rivalry and hatred among communities."

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar

The father of the boy,10, who chanted 'provocative' slogans at a Popular Front of India (PFI) rally in Kerala’s Alappuzha, was arrested by the police on Saturday, 28 May. A case under Section 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth etc) of the Indian Penal Code has been charged against him.

The video of a boy sitting on the shoulder of a person and raising 'hateful' slogans, apparently targeted at non-Muslims, during a rally called 'Save the Republic' held on 21 May had gone viral on social media.

After the police took the father into custody, several PFI supporters protested the move.

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Father Justifies Boy’s Slogans, Says He Had Done It Earlier

The boy was brought to the rally by his father, who is reportedly a PFI worker. His family, who reside in Palluruthy in Kochi, had gone into hiding two days ago. The 10-year-old boy cannot be accused as per the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. However, the police will soon submit a report to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) who will then arrange for his counselling.

The boy was not taught the slogans but learnt them when he attended rallies of PFI, the father asserted.

Justifying the act, he told the media that his son “the slogans were against the threat created by the Sangh Parivar, and not against any community.”

He revealed that the child had raised similar slogans during the protests against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

The boy's father has also been identified as a known PFI activist who had also participated in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests as well.

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24 More People Taken Into Custody Over 'Hate' Slogans

The Kerala High Court on 27 May ordered the state government to take strong action against those responsible for a 10-year-old child raising provocative slogans at the rally.

The Alappuzha South Police in Kerala on 27 May took 24 more people into custody in connection with the case. They were booked under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code along with Sections 75 (punishment for cruelty to child) and 83 (2) (use of child by militant groups or other adults) of the JJ Act.

The persons taken into custody were those who reportedly repeated the slogan after the boy.

The police on Wednesday had arrested PFI activist Ansar Najeeb and PFI Alappuzha District President Vandanam Navas in the case. It was Ansar who had carried the boy on his shoulders.

No Muslim outfit or leader in Kerala has incidentally publicly reacted on the incident.

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Topics:  Kerala   Alappuzha 

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