The channel, run by rationalists, had found itself at the centre of a controversy after it was accused of making derogatory remarks against Hindu deity Murugan.

A screenshot of anchor Surendran Natarajan of Karuppar Kottam A screengrab of video
news Controversy Tuesday, July 21, 2020 - 14:55

The Tamil Nadu cyber crime branch has removed all videos from the YouTube channel of Karuppar Koottam on Tuesday. The channel, run by rationalists, had found itself at the centre of a controversy after it was accused of making derogatory remarks against Hindu deity Murugan and a poem -- ‘Kanda Sashti Kavacham’, sung in his praise, in a viral video.

The cyber crime branch has arrested four persons associated with the YouTube channel so far. Investigation officials arrested Senthil Vasan, a native of Velachery, on July 15. Surendra Natarajan, an anchor of Karuppar Koottam, surrendered before the Tamil Nadu police in Puducherry on July 16. Two other people associated with the channel were also arrested following this.

On July 13, as a video made by the channel went viral, the head of Tamil Nadu BJP Advocates’ division Vinoj P Selvam filed a complaint with the cyber crime police. In the complaint, he sought action against Surendra Natarajan for uploading a video with alleged derogatory remarks.

As the controversy snowballed, BJP members across the state protested against the YouTube channel for spreading content which they said hurt their religious sentiments. They demanded that the police immediately take strict action against the people behind the YouTube channel. 

Tamil Nadu BJP chief L Murugan also led a protest in Chennai, in which he demanded that authorities take action under the National Security Act for ‘disparaging remarks’ against the deity, according to reports.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) meanwhile, distanced itself from the team of Karuppar Koottam after several claims were made on social media linking the party to the YouTube channel. 

DMK president MK Stalin said that a few groups were trying to portray DMK as ‘anti-Hindu’ by using social media handles. He added that the motive of the groups is to divert people from the failure of the government in implementing its promises and to stop the DMK from winning Assembly elections next year.  

DMK Organising Secretary RS Bharathi said that DMK has no connection with the YouTube channel and accused right-wing groups of wrongly associating the party with the video on social media. 

“The handle wants to turn Hindus against us and there are one crore Hindus in the DMK,” RS Bharathi was quoted as saying. 

In the wake of the controversy, a periyar statue was vandalised by members of right-wing outfits in Coimbatore as saffron paint was thrown over it on Saturday. Later, a member of the Bharat Sena outfit, identified as Arun Krishnan, surrendered before the Kuniamuthur police. 

Similarly, an Erode man attempted to tie a saffron cloth over a periyar statue in the heart of the town on Monday. The 42-year-old functionary of Thamizhaga Hindu Makkal Katchi has been arrested.

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