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Kerala politician PC George held in sexual assault case; granted bail

Saturday’s arrest, which comes two months after George, 70, was held and released on bail for a purported hate speech, came while the senior politician was being questioned by police in another case, lodged against him by former minister K T Jaleel.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: July 3, 2022 1:38:54 am
Senior politician P C George (Image: Facebook)

Senior politician and seven-time former legislator, P C George, was arrested on Saturday, purportedly on the basis of a complaint of sexual assault filed by a woman, who is also an accused in the 2013 solar panel scandal in the state.

Later, a magistrate court here granted him bail.

Saturday’s arrest, which comes two months after George, 70, was held and released on bail for a purported hate speech, came while the senior politician was being questioned by police in another case, lodged against him by former minister K T Jaleel.

George told the media that his arrest is part of a conspiracy of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “He (Vijayan) has a grudge because I did not give any statement against former chief minister Oommen Chandy in the solar scandal. He (Vijayan) is not going to escape,” George alleged.

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After the court granted him bail, he said: “Central agencies should probe into Vijayan’s frequent visits to the US. The financial resources of Vijayan’s daughter Veena’s IT firm, Exalogic, should be probed. All financial dealings related to Vijayan have been routed through his daughter’s firm. I will not back down from this fight against corruption.”

While the woman had earlier made allegations of sexual harassment against several politicians in the state, which are under investigation, George’s name did not figure in those complaints.

Last month, former state minister Jaleel had alleged that George had conspired with gold smuggling scandal accused Swapna Suresh in her latest allegations against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the LDF government in the state, and the complainant (Jaleel) himself.

On Saturday, Crime Branch police had summoned George for questioning in their probe into the case registered on the basis of Jaleel’s complaint, when police informed the former legislator about the alleged sexual harassment complaint.

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The woman had registered her complaint against George around noon, when police were questioning the senior politician in connection with the case registered on the basis of Jaleel’s complaint. Thiruvananthapuram city police subsequently arrested George under IPC Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354-A (offence of sexual harassment).

According to the FIR, lodged on the basis of the woman’s complaint, George had summoned her to the government guest house in Thiruvananthapuram on February 10 under the pretext of discussing the gold smuggling scandal and outraged her modesty.

Calling the allegations baseless, George’s son, Shone George, a member of district panchayat in Kottayam, said the veteran leader was arrested because the state “government wanted to divert attention from the latest allegations related to the gold smuggling scandal”. Shone said, “The government also wants to divert media attention from the explosive attack on CPI(M) state headquarters. We will fight this legally.”

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The woman had earlier been made a witness in the conspiracy case by police and had given a statement before court under Section 164 CrPC.

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She had earlier made similar allegations against several Congress leaders, including former CM Chandy, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, Lok Sabha MP Hibi Eden, Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani and some others.

They have denied the allegations.

After the police did not proceed with the complaint, she moved a fresh petition to CM Pinarayi Vijayan, seeking a CBI probe into her allegations. She had then dropped the name of Jose K Mani, who had by then moved to the LDF.

The CBI took over the probe into allegations of sexual harassment, based on the state government’s recommendation. No arrest has been made yet.

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First published on: 02-07-2022 at 04:23:33 pm

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