Scores of activists of DYFI, the youth wing of the CPI(M), took out a protest march to the Palakkad municipal building Friday in Kerala and displayed the tricolour from top in response to the BJP’s ‘Jai Shree Ram’ banner earlier this week.
On Wednesday, when results in the local body polls showed that BJP would retain control of Palakkad municipality, enthusiastic workers and counting agents of the party had climbed atop the municipal building and unfurled a banner that read ‘Jai Shree Ram’ in Malayalam along with the photograph of Maratha leader Shivaji. The workers also unfurled a gigantic poster showing PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on one side of the building.
The DYFI said unfurling of the national flag was a fitting response to the ‘communal’ politics of the BJP and the RSS. According to the law, religious symbols are not permitted on government buildings.
Meanwhile, the local police have booked a case against unidentified persons under section 153 IPC (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot) on the complaint of the municipal secretary in connection with the display of the ‘Jai Shree Ram’ banner. No arrests have been made yet.
“The municipal secretary has filed the complaint, but he was not an eye-witness. We are still trying to identify the people who put up the banner and checking if they were ordinary BJP workers or the party’s official counting agents. If they were ordinary workers, they would be charged under trespassing too. Many complaints have come in connection with this case from different sources,” said Sub-Inspector Ranjith at the Town South police station.