The Kerala police on Thursday (December 17) booked a few BJP workers for allegedly unfurling a giant banner which had ‘Jai Shri Ram’ written on it, on the Palakkad municipal corporation building.
The FIR was filed based on a complaint by the Palakkad municipal secretary against BJP loyalists.
“We have filed an FIR under 153 of IPC (provocation with the intent to cause a riot) based on the complaint of the Municipal Secretary, who is also a government official,” Palakkad Police Chief Sujithdas S told NDTV.
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The complainant said a few BJP workers unfurled the banner from the terrace of the municipality building on December 16 to celebrate their party’s second consecutive win in the local body polls. The banner which had ‘Jai Shri Ram’ written in Malayalam had an image of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Reports said another poster featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also unfurled from the building.
In an answer to the action by the BJP workers, members of left parties unfurled the Tricolour over the municipality building on Friday (December 18). They also reportedly raised slogans against the RSS and in favour of secularism.
While a video of the incident went viral on local social media circles, what triggered an outrage was BJP spokesperson Sandeep Varier Facebook post, where he said “Palakkad town was Kerala’s Gujarat”.
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“This has not been done with the knowledge of the BJP leadership. We don’t know who did it. But I am not apologetic. Nothing wrong with it,” Palakkad BJP District president, advocate Krishna Das E, told NDTV, adding, “How is chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ hurting religious sentiments? Thousands of workers were celebrating our victory…If we don’t chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in India, do we then do so in Pakistan? This complaint will not have any legal standing.”