Kanyakumari pastor arrested for hate speech

Chennai: A Roman Catholic priest in Kanyakumari has been arrested for spreading hate and enmity between religious groups and making controversial remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

A video that went viral recently featured George Ponnaiah, who belongs to the Catholic Diocese, talking at a place called Arumanai.

In the speech, he is heard saying that the church canvassed votes in favour of the DMK in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

He said the DMK’s victory in the Assembly election was the ‘alms given by the Christians and the Muslims’. He also made disparaging remarks about Hinduism, Modi and Shah.

Acting on a complaint, including from the BJP, the Arumanai police booked him under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups of religion, race, etc.), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the feelings of any class by insulting religion or religious beliefs), 505 (ii) (statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes) and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. He was also booked under Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 143 (unlawful assembly) of the IPC, and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act for organising the meeting, violating the restrictions.