In the remand report submitted before the court, the police said PFI Palluruthy division president Shameer and Thrippunithura mandalam secretary of group affiliate Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) Sudheer NY, both accused in the case, played a key role in tutoring the child.
The boy’s father who was also arrested by the police, had allegedly helped him. The child raised the slogans at the rally with the knowledge of his father who is an active member of PFI, according to the report.
“Sudheer is a friend of the child’s father and a regular visitor to their house. He is a person who encouraged the child to call these provocative slogans,” says the remand report.
A total of 26 people have been arrested so far after a video showing the boy sitting on the shoulder of a man and allegedly raising communal slogans during the PFI rally in Alappuzha went viral.
“Though there is law that children should not be used for such illegal activities, the accused 24 to 27 (the boy’s father) with other accused used the child for provocative sloganeering with the intention of creating riots and communal enmity. The father allowed the child to participate in this,” the remand report submitted before an Alappuzha first-class judicial magistrate court said.
The PFI, earlier in an internal note, which was made available to the media, said such slogans were against the policy of the outfit and would look into the matter.
“We have given approved slogans which were to be raised in the public rally at Alappuzha. Thousands of party workers and others joined the rally protesting against the RSS. The visual of a boy raising slogans came to our notice now. Those slogans were not approved or given by the organisers of the rally. It’s not the policy of the organisation to provoke or raise provocative slogans,” PFI state secretary CA Raoof said in the note.