Following the counting of the Kerala local polls, BJP workers hung a ‘Jai Shree Ram’ banner on the Palakkad municipality building, alongside pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. This has invited criticism from various quarters, and after receiving multiple complaints, the police have invoked Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code (wantonly giving provocation with the intention to riot) against the BJP workers.
Meanwhile, DYFI members marched towards the Municipality office today reacting to the BJP’s actions from yesterday. They responded to the BJP’s banner by raising the Indian flag at the top of the building. Although the police have arrested and removed many from the scene, some are still protesting at a sit-in dharna in front of the building.
The Congress and the Left parties complained that hanging a banner evoking religious sentiment on the constitutional building was making a mockery of the democratic values. They also alleged that the crime was done by RSS workers, who had also shouted ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and Hindutva slogans, with the illicit permission of the senior BJP leaders there.
Following the complaints, the police have decided to take action but have only charged them under bailable offences. The officers will only be considering the hanging of the banner. The police will include BJP counsellors and polling agents in the case, while the full list will be prepared after evidence have been collected.