The police prevented Union Minister of state for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan from meeting former legislator P.C. George, who is in police custody at the Kerala Armed Police camp at Thiruvananthapuram.
George was arrested in the early hours of Sunday from his residence in Kottayam district. The arrest followed a reported hate speech that he had delivered during ‘Ananathapuri Hindu Mahasammelan’ on Thursday.
The Union Minister told the mediapersons that the Kerala government was letting criminals, who have killed several people, go scot-free, but was arresting a public leader and a former legislator for a speech. Muraleedharan said, “What George said is his opinion. Kerala government under Pinarayi Vijayan is practicing dual justice. Killers are roaming around freely while public workers, who have made a speech, are arrested. Several others have made such speeches but the police did not take any action.”
The arrest of P.C. George following a speech he made against the Muslim community at the ‘Ananthapuram Hindu Maha sammelan’ has led to major protests from the Muslim Youth League, Youth Congress, and the DYFI of the CPI-M. The arrest followed complaints by the Youth League and the DYFI.
P.C. George’s Personal assistant Shan while speaking to mediapersons said, “He was arrested on a Sunday morning and police did not allow him to even go to the Church for prayers. He has made a speech in a closed function and this has been blown out of proportion. Myself and my wife are standing security to him today when he will be presented before a judicial magistrate court.”
Being Sunday, the court is on a holiday and senior police officers told IANS that George would be produced either online or at the chamber of the judicial first class magistrate.
The youth wing of the CPI-M, DYFI held a black flag demonstration in front of the Armed Reserve Police camp when George was taken inside the camp for questioning. Police could not prevent the DYFI workers from reaching near the vehicle in which George was travelling and it was after a lot of force that the youth workers were removed from the scene.
The BJP and Sangh Parivar have taken up the issue of the arrest of P.C. George in a big way and the BJP has already commenced a campaign stating that the police under Pinarayi Vijayan was practicing dual justice.
Party leaders like state president K. Surendran and former state president Kummanam Rajashekharan have come out strongly against the arrest of P.C. George. The BJP leaders in separate statements said that the Kerala Police were not taking action against those who had earlier indulged in hate speeches and George was arrested only because he had spoken for the Hindu community.
Heavy police contingent was manning the state capital Thiruvananthapuram as several organisations have called for protests against George while the BJP and its youth wing Yuva Morcha have extended support to him.