KOCHI: Former MLA P C George was arrested on Wednesday after a court cancelled the bail he was granted earlier in the Thiruvananthapuram hate speech case, ending several days of drama that saw the senior politician remaining untraceable since Saturday. George was taken into custody when he arrived at the Palarivattom police station here in the afternoon to give a statement in the Vennala hate speech case.
In the evening, officers from the Fort police station reached Kochi and recorded his arrest, and later took him to the state capital. Before that, the former Poonjar MLA was shifted to the Ernakulam General Hospital around 8pm after he complained of high blood pressure. After keeping him under observation for an hour from 8.15pm, he was discharged from the hospital, allowing the Fort police to take him to Thiruvananthapuram.
The Janapaksham leader’s arrest came after the Thiruvananthapuram First Class Magistrate Court rejected the bail he was granted for the hate speech against the Muslim community while addressing a programme organised as part of the Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelan last month.
PDP men raise slogans against George, BJP protests police action
The court, in its judgment, said George was granted bail on May 1 on the condition that he should not make and propagate statements that may hurt the sentiments of others. However, he flouted the condition by delivering provocative remarks in his speech at the Vennala Sree Mahadeva temple on May 10.
George, accompanied by his son Shone George, had arrived at the Palarivattom police station around 3.15 pm, leading to an hour-long drama outside the station.
While the activists of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) raised slogans against George, BJP workers, led by its state president and other leaders, protested the police action. It was PDP workers who gathered first near the police station to protest against George for his hate speeches made at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. Around 50 PDP workers were arrested and removed from the place.
Later, BJP workers led by state leaders K Surendran, Sobha Surendran, P K Krishnadas, A N Radhakrishnan and Sandeep Varier gathered at the police station.The BJP leaders blockaded the front gate of the police station, raising slogans against the state government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the police.
As the situation appeared set to worsen, the police decided to shift George to a safer location. Around 4.15pm, George was shifted to the Police AR Camp at Marine Drive. There was a tussle between police personnel and BJP workers when George was being moved out of the station in a police vehicle. Before entering the SUV, George waved his hand at the public. When the vehicle started to move, BJP party workers blocked it. The police used force to remove BJP workers and make way for the car.
‘Bound to obey order’
Shone, son of George, said “We knew that the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Thiruvananthapuram was about to give its order in the bail cancellation petition against my father. We knew that if the court cancelled the bail, my father will be arrested. But as politicians, we are bound to obey the court order. We will soon initiate the next step to secure bail.”