The arrest of renowned political analyst and publisher Badri Seshadri allegedly for his comments about the Chief Justice of India regarding the violence in Manipur is being seen by political commentators as part of a pattern that started after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government came to power in 2021.
In this article, we look at some of the recent arrests made by the Tamil Nadu police for certain remarks and posts on social media.
SG Suryah-BJP state secretary
SG Suryah, the state secretary of the BJP was arrested for a tweet in which he questioned Su Venkatesan, the CPM MP from Madurai on his silence over the death of a sanitation worker in Pennadam municipality.
In the tweet, Suryah had erroneously mentioned Pennadam to be in Madurai district instead of Cuddalore district.
Recently, after the row over allowing devotees from the Kanagasabhai mandapam in the Chidambaram Nataraja temple, the police issued summons to Suryah and Kaushik Subramanian of The Commune, for alleged defamatory posts on social media.
Uma Gargi- Social Media Influencer
Uma Gargi was arrested for alleged defamatory posts about chief minister MK Stalin, his father M Karunanidhi and Dravidian ideologue EV Ramasamy.
The social media post was reportedly regarding allegations of Karunanidhi having received a Rs 200 crore commission from a Hyderabad-based company in connection with the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Tirunelveli district's Nanguneri.
BJP Industrial Wing vice president Selvakumar
Selvakumar was arrested for certain tweets which allegedly threatened the tranquillity of the state and targeted minister Senthil Balaji. He was arrested a few days before the release of part one of the DMK Files by BJP state president K Annamalai.
Kanal Kannan- Cinema Stunt Master
Tamil cinema stunt master and Hindu Munnani leader Kanal Kannan was arrested for posting a video of a Christian priest dancing with a woman.
In a tweet along with the video, Kannan had written in Tamil, "This is the true state of foreign religions. Converted Hindus should think about it and change their mind."
The arrest was based on a complaint by Austin Bennet, an office-bearer of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) IT Wing. Bennet alleged that the video was posted with the intention to defame Christianity.
Gowtham- AIADMK IT Wing Functionary
He was arrested for posting a video meme which incorporated scenes from Tamil movies in response to a video by Chief Minister MK Stalin, released after the arrest of minister Senthil Balaji. Chief Minister Stalin had warned the BJP not to provoke the DMK.
Saravanaprasad Balasubramanian- BJP Supporter
Days after the hooch tragedy which took the lives of over 20 people, Balasubramanian had posted an article by Dinamalar regarding the arrest of five people for producing illicit liquor. He allegedly misattributed them to be members of the DMK.
Others who were arrested similarly include John Ravi, YouTubers like Maridhas and Karthik Gopinath, and political commentators such as Kishore K Swamy and Krishna Kumar Murugan.
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