The Kerala police on Tuesday booked 3 leaders of the Popular Front of India (PFI) for allegedly forcing school kids to wear ‘I am Babri’ badges on Monday on the 19th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
The incident happened at the St George High School in Kattangal panchayat of Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district. The panchayat is ruled by a coalition of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), has distanced itself from the controversy.
A case has been registered against the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader Muneer Ibnu Nazeer and two others for trying to create communal disharmony and riots in the area. The SDPI is an offshoot of the Popular Front of India (PFI).
Working on the complaint filed by the BJP’s Ranni Madalam President Suresh K Pillai, the Kerala police registered a case under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 34 (committing a criminal act with common intention) of the India Penal Code.
The parent-teacher association of the school also lodged a police complaint alleging that some unidentified persons stopped students in front of the school and made them wear ‘I am Babri’ bandages.
Calling the incident a violation of the rights of children, the BJP national executive member P K Krishnadas sent a complaint to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). In its letter sent to the NCPCR, he called it as a deliberate attempt to create a communal divide.
BJP Pathanamthitta district president VA Sooraj also lodged a complaint with the police.
BJP state president K Surendran also lashed out, saying that the CPM still rules with the help of SDPI and that the police have taken no steps to arrest the perpetrators.
The police have launched an investigation into the incident in which some organisations observe December 6 as Babri Day to protest the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992.