Protests in Kerala after BJP Flag Found Draped Around Gandhi Statue: All You Need to Know
A Mahatma Gandhi statue in Palakkad was draped in a BJP flag | Image credit: Twitter
A Bhartiya Janta Party flag draped around a bust of Karamchand Mohandas Gandhi has become the eye of a political storm in a Kerala town, days after a 'Jai Shree Ram' banner caused outrage among locals youth leaders.
The incident occurred in Palakkad where a BJP flag was found draped on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Municipal Corporation building on Monday. According to reports, an FIR has been filed against the unidentified person, even as BJP distanced itself from the incident.
How did a BJP flag come to cover a Gandhi statue?
In CCTV footage that has been going viral on social media, an unidentified man in a mask can be seen climbing the statue of Gandhi in the municipal building and tying the BJP flag on it before climbing down and walking away. The incident, which caused outrage among local leaders, is being investigated by police. "We have registered a case under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code on a complaint filed by the municipal secretary in charge. We are yet to identify the culprits," the Investigating Officer told media. Section 153 of the IPC deals with wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot.
Who is outraging against the flag?
The DYFI, the youth wing of the CPI(M) took out a protest march and garlanded the statue. Congress and its youth wing too staged a separate march and Congress and took out separate marches in the city in protest against the incident. Later, both CPI(M) and Congress councilors staged a sit-in in front of the municipal chairperson's room, demanding that action be taken against those responsible. BJP leaders, who did not wish to be named, said the party was not involved in the incident and sought a comprehensive probe.
Why has the flag caused outrage?
In December, BJP won the local body polls, retaining the Municipality in the local body polls Palakkad and Pandalam in the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-ruled state. Following the victory, some BJP workers allegedly unfurled a giant banner with "Jai Sri Ram" written on it from the terrace of the Corporation building on December 16. Palakkad and Pandalam are two of the total 87 local body seats that went to polls in December last year.
(With inputs from PTI)