Kerala BJP Chief Moves High Court Seeking To Drop Complaint Against Him

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PS Sreedharan Pillai purportedly said Sabarimala protests were "planned and orchestrated" by the BJP

Kochi:

Kerala BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai on Friday moved the Kerala High Court seeking quashing of a complaint registered against him by the police for his speech on the Sabarimala protests.

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

In his petition, Mr 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.

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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.

Mr Pillai was charged under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, 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.

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

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