After 12-hour-drama, police winds up case against 'microphone' for howling during Kerala CM's speech

The incident happened during the program organized by Congress to commemorate late former Chirf Minister Oommen Chandy.

Published: 26th July 2023 02:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2023 04:43 PM   |  A+A-

Pinarayi Vijayan

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress state president K Sudhakaran greet each other as the former arrives for the Oommen Chandy commemoration meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday | B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a bizarre series of developments, the state police registered a case over the malfunctioning of a microphone, for some seconds, during the speech of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a recent program organised by the Congress party to commemorate former chief minister Oommen Chandy. However with the move inviting harsh criticism and ridicule from various corners, CM Pinarayi Vijayan intervened and directed the police not to proceed with the case.

It was on Monday that CM Pinarayi attended the Oommen Chandy commemoration at Ayyankali Hall in the state capital. When he got up to address the gathering, Congress workers had raised slogans for Oommen Chandy. It was after KPCC president K Sudhakaran along with other leaders urged the party cadres to remain silent that the CM started his speech. A few minutes into the speech, he had to stop after a howling noise from the microphone, which lasted for 10-15 seconds. The CM continued his speech later.

Late on Tuesday night, the Cantonment Police suo motu registered a case under section 118 (e) Kerala Police Act (Any person who knowingly does any act which causes danger to public or failure in public safety). The FIR, however, did not mention anyone as accused.  

Following this, the 'suspects'  - microphone, amplifier and the cable - were taken into custody, though no case was registered against Renjith, the microphone operator. With reports coming out about the case, social media was flooded with comments ridiculing the police action. Pinarayi came under flak from a slew of leaders including Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan and KPCC president K Sudhakaran.

Meanwhile the chief minister intervened and directed not to proceed with the case taken against the microphone operator. He directed that the investigating officials need to carry out only essential security inspections. Following this, after a more than 12-hour drama, the microphone operator heaved a sigh of relief when the Police returned the microphone, amplifier and the cable -- which turned out to be the villain.

ALSO READ | Oommen Chandy memorial meeting: Case registered for 'noise pollution' during Kerala CM's speech

The Cantonment Police voluntarily registering a case had come under flak from all quarters including the Opposition and netizens. Initially there were reports that the electrical directorate would inspect Renjith’s mic, amplifier and the cable.

Renjith told TNIE that the howling sound came from the mic when the Chief Minister was speaking as heavy bags belonging to the horde of Television camera crew and press photographers were put on top of the mic cable. “I am relieved that I got my equipment back after a few hours of drama. Now I can earn my livelihood as I have yet another Oommen Chandy commemorative programme lined up for Wednesday. The police inspected the cable and returned my things”, said Vattiyoorkavu native Renjith.

Meanwhile, K Sudhakaran took a jibe at CM saying that the latter is scared of even a microphone, which shows how timid the leader is. Sudhakaran also condemned the police registering case over a minor technical glitch.  

“It is ridiculous how a poor microphone operator, his mic, cable and the amplifier had to undergo an ordeal at the police station. Pinarayi is a disgrace to the state. A timid individual, he's even scared of a microphone. Pinarayi, who is known for his intolerance, has a lot to learn from Oommen Chandy who was the most revered Chief Minister”, said Sudhakaran.

Talking to reporters in front of the Secretariat, Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said, “Please don't make me die of laughter. The first accused is the mic, the second accused is the amplifier. The FIR was registered as per the direction from the CMO. The police are being ruled by the CM's political secretary”.

Satheesan also said that this must be the first time in the history of the state, such a ridiculous case was filed. He meanwhile maintained that Pinarayi was invited to commemoration meet as per the unanimous decision taken by the party leadership.

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