After folk-singer Kovanâ€™s arrest on October 30 on charges of sedition made headlines, a similar case has been registered against six activists of an anti-liquor group for allegedly making incendiary speeches.
The group was demanding the closure of state-run liquor outlets and the police action has drawn sharp reactions from MDMK and the BJP.
The six activists of 'Makkal Adhikaram' were booked by police for allegedly making inflammatory speeches at the event held on February 14 at Tiruchirappalli.
'Makkal Adhikaram' is a group with Left-leanings and running a campaign seeking closure of state-run liquor outlets.
The activists were also booked under other IPC sections including 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) on March 26, police said.
In a similar case, last October, ultra-left folk singer Kovan was arrested on sedition charges and for allegedly singing a defamatory song against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa over the liquor issue. He was released on bail later.
The issue had snowballed into a political controversy.
Referring to both cases, MDMK general secretary and coordinator of PWF, Vaiko said he "strongly condemned" the police action. "The case against Makkal Adhikaram activists should be withdrawn immediately," he said, adding the people would show their resolve against such things in the May 16 polls.
Speaking to reporters at Madurai, senior BJP leader and party election incharge for Tamil Nadu, Prakash Javadekar slammed the authorities for slapping criminal case against the activists.
"I am shocked when I heard that the government has booked activists (seeking prohibition) with sedition charges. Who is committing sedition? Those who are promoting liquor or those serve the country (by campaigning against it)?
"Liquor has ruined poor families," he said and blamed both ruling AIADMK and DMK over the issue.