Tamil Nadu police on Wednesday arrested a Congress-affiliated orator accused of making a controversial speech against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah earlier this week, news agency ANI reported. He was picked up from Perambalur, located nearly 300 km from Chennai.
Nellai Kannan has been booked on several charges, including instigating violence between two communities and causing intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, after a video of his purported speech at a meet against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Tirunelveli on Sunday emerged on social media. At the event organised by the Social Democratic Party of India, he had allegedly expressed “shock” over why Muslims were yet to act against PM Modi and Amit Shah.
Although a police team had reached Nellai Kannan’s house on Tuesday to take him into custody, they were told that he was suffering from “chest pain”. Following this, they called an ambulance to take him to a hospital instead.
The BJP had held a massive protest rally to demand the immediate arrest of Nellai Kannan at Chennai’s Marina Beach earlier in the day. Police intervened, taking several party leaders — including Pon Radhakrishnan, H Raja, La Ganesan and CP Radhakrishnan — into custody.
The case against Nellai Kannan was lodged after BJP’s Nellai district leader Dhaya Shankar filed a police complaint stating that such remarks amounted to being an “open threat to PM Modi and Amit Shah’s lives”. He demanded that the Tamil orator also be charged under criminal incitement and abetment of murder, which are punishable crimes under the Indian Penal Code.
Party general secretary KS Narendran filed a separate petition with the Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, seeking stringent action against the orator for making remarks that could potentially trigger communal clashes and harm national integrity. He claimed that Nellai Kannan also made derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, among others, in his controversial speech.
Police said they also received another complaint against Nellai Kannan from the ruling AIADMK.
(With inputs from ANI)