Thiruvananthapuram: Senior Kerala politician P C George, who was arrested by the police for alleged sexual assault, was granted bail by a Magisterial court in the city.
The 70-year-old politician was taken into custody by the Museum police from a guest house in the capital city this afternoon in a dramatic move, on a complaint filed by an accused in the solar panel case.
At that time, the senior politician was being grilled by a team of Crime Branch personnel in connection with a conspiracy allegedly hatched to defame the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in smuggling charges levelled by gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh.
He was later taken to Nandavanam AR Camp and his arrest was recorded before he was produced before a magistrate court.
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Granting bail, the court directed him to cooperate with the investigation. According to police sources, the sudden move to arrest George was made based on a secret statement given by the accused and according to a written complaint filed directly by the victim at the local police station here in this regard.
According to the complaint, George had allegedly behaved in a way insulting her modesty on February 10 at a guest house here and sent her indecent messages on mobile phone.
Soon after filing an FIR over the charges, a team led by the Cantonment Assistant Commissioner took George into custody.
He was charged under IPC Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354 (a) (sexual harassment).
However, George rejected the charges and claimed he had not done anything indecent and it was a false complaint.
A former chief whip when the Congress-led UDF was in power, George also alleged the accused came up with a complaint now as he did not give a statement in favour of her in a case she had filed against former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
While speaking to the reporters outside the police station, the politician again courted controversy by insulting a woman TV journalist who questioned him for naming the accused, which is illegal.
Besides journalists, senior CPI(M) leader and state Education Minister V Sivankutty was among those who strongly condemned his act. George, however, apologised to the woman scribe when he emerged from the court after securing bail.
The politician had earlier sparked off a controversy in May this year by asking non-Muslims in Kerala to avoid restaurants run by the community.
However, within a few hours of his arrest, George had secured bail from a Magisterial court.
He had lost Poonjar, his bastion, to the Left Democratic Front candidate in the 2021 Assembly polls in a triangular fight.