Investigation in the case of a child allegedly chanting provocative slogans at a Popular Front of India (PFI) rally in Kerala is focusing on the possibilities of a larger conspiracy and more kids being tutored.
“The main concern is that such things cannot happen without the involvement and knowledge of the PFI leadership. That is what we are trying to find out; what is the level of conspiracy and who all are involved? It is a very serious matter for us,” Kerala’s additional director general of police (ADGP), law and order, Vijay Sakhare, told CNN-News18.
“Once we get police custody of the accused, sustained interrogation will be carried out to understand whether there is an organised conspiracy to tutor kids like this and who are the people who are involved in the conspiracy. Whether it is being done at a larger level or whether there are more such kids who have been indoctrinated in a similar manner. These are the focus areas of the investigation.”
The officer added that the Kerala government and police have zero tolerance for any communal inflammatory messages or practices.
“We will not allow anybody to incite communal feelings in the crowd. We are very aggressive in taking the law to all these people who are making inflammatory and hatred-spreading messages,” Sakhare said.
The ADGP added that not just those who repeated the slogans but people in the state leadership and district functionaries of PFI were also arrested.
The police crackdown came after a video showing the boy sitting on the shoulder of a man and allegedly raising communal slogans during the rally in Alappuzha went viral.
So far 26 people including the chairman of the organising committee and several district-level functionaries of the group have been arrested. Some organisers are absconding and, police say, more arrests will be recorded as the investigation progresses.