Palakkad, Jan 13, 2021: A 26-year-old man has been arrested in Kerala, days after outrage in Palakkad over a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in a municipal building was found covered in a Bharatiya Janata Party flag.
The accused named Brijesh was arrested by Palakkad Town South police after the incident sparked protests in Palakkad from several local leaders across political parties.
It all started last week BJP flag was found draped on a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Municipal Corporation building on Monday. 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.
According to reports, an FIR had been filed against the unidentified person, even as BJP distanced itself from the incident.
"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 the media. Section 153 of the IPC deals with wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause a riot.
The incident led to widespread outrage and protests with DYFI, the youth wing of the CPI(M) and Congress’ youth wing leading separate marches across the town.
According to a report in The News Minute, the accused, Brijesh, who was caught on tape. 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.