BJP Kerala chief moves HC seeking quashing of FIR against him

The FIR was registered in Kozhikode on a complaint by journalist Shybin alleging that Pillai, while addressing a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) state council, had instigated activists to protest the entry of women of menstrual age into the hill shrine.

Kerala BJP president P S Sreedharan Pillai Friday moved the High Court seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him by the police for his speech on the Sabarimala protests.

The first information report was registered in Kozhikode on a complaint by journalist Shybin alleging that Pillai, while addressing a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) state council, had instigated activists to protest the entry of women of menstrual age into the hill shrine.

In his petition, Pillai claimed that he had not made any statement with an intention to cause any fear or alarm among any section of the public, so as to induce a person to commit an offence against state or against public tranquility.

Presenting the digital evidence of his speech before the court, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president claimed that he had clearly told the gathering that the protest should be peaceful, not like a “violent war”.

But these aspects were suppressed by the media which published an edited version of his speech, he claimed.

Pillai was charged under section 505 (1) (B) of the IPC (intent to incite or which is likely to incite persons to commit any offence), a non-cognizable offence, in connection with his November 4 address.

He also claimed that the views expressed by him in an exclusive party function would never attract IPC section 505.

Pillai submitted that he cannot be held liable for media interpretations given to edited portions of his speech telecast by certain media houses with vested interests.

TV channels last week aired a video clip in which Pillai had purportedly said the Sabarimala agitations were “planned and orchestrated” by the party as part of its “agenda” and was a “golden opportunity” for it.

He had also said the head priest of the hill shrine, Kandararu Rajeevaru had sought his opinion on closing the sanctum sanctorum to prevent women of menstrual age from entering the shrine when it opened from Oct 17-22, kicking up a huge row.

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