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Provocative sloganeering: boy’s father among five held- Mrit News

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The police on Saturday arrested the father of the boy who chanted provocative slogans at a Popular Front of India (PFI) rally in Alappuzha on May 21.

The arrested was identified as Askar Latheef, 39, of Thangal Nagar, Palluruthy, in Ernakulam district. Though the police traced the boy two days ago, the family had gone into hiding. The police took Latheef into custody after the family returned to their house.

Besides, the police arrested four others in connection with the case. They were identified as Muhammed Thalhath, 36, of Cheppad, Alappuzha, Niyas, 42, of Nettoor, Ernakulam, Shameer, 39, of Palluruthy, and Sudheer N.Y., 41, of Palluruthy. They were nabbed by a team led by Alappuzha Deputy Superintendent of Police N.R. Jayaraj. The police said the arrested would be produced before a local court in Alappuzha.

Since the video featuring the boy sitting on the shoulder of a man and raising incendiary slogans went viral, the Alappuzha South police have arrested 25 PFI men.

The arrested were booked under various Sections including 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 boy was reportedly brought to the ‘Save the Republic’ rally by his father.

Despite the boy being located, the police cannot arraign him as an accused as per the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. The police, however, are expected to submit a report to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) considering his ‘delinquent’ behaviour. The CWC will then have to arrange for his counselling in a safe and secure environment.

In one of the remand reports submitted before a local court in Alappuzha, the police have hinted at a conspiracy and that the minor received training to chant slogans. The accused had tried to stir up the Muslim community and hurt the sentiments of other religions. They let the child raise provocative slogans to fan religious sentiments and promote enmity between religious groups, the report said.

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