Vasigaran supported actor Mansoor Ali Khan who has been arrested for saying he will ‘kill 8 people’ if the highway comes up – despite his clarification.

Another arrest over Salem highway AAP leader Vasigaran booked for backing MansoorFX16 screengrab
news Salem Chennai Expressway Wednesday, July 04, 2018 - 13:42

The Tamil Nadu convener of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Vasigaran, has been arrested in Salem on Wednesday early morning, for his comments on the Chennai-Salem Greenfield Corridor project. Vasigaran spoke out against the TN government and the Centre in a sound byte to FX16 News, and supported actor Mansoor Ali Khan, who has been arrested for a speech on the same issue.

He has been booked under IPC sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to riot), 183 (Resistance to the taking of property by the lawful authority of a public servant), 505 1 (Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report), 505 (1)(b) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public), 506 (criminal intimidation).

In a video uploaded on June 28, Vasigaran said, “The government is a welfare state. That means that the government is for the people – not for Edappadi Palaniswami. Not for Modi. If they are a government for the people, they should remain calm in this situation.”

“Mansoor Ali Khan said that if they bring in the 8-lane highway, he will kill 8 people. Not just 8 people – we’re ever ready to kill 16 people!” Vasigaran said. Immediately, he clarified, “What is the crime in saying this? This is an ordinary statement. Even a mother tells a small child – “If you go there, I’ll cut your legs off!” Just because she says that, does it mean she’s going to actually cut the legs off?”

“People are anxious! We’re also anxious. Why are you laying something that is unnecessary? Why are you bringing something that people have no need for?” he asked.

“Definitely – even if not today – these are the people who need to be killed. The people in government are wrong. They’re saying wrong things to people, and people are expecting justice,” Vasigaran said. “But is this even a comment for which one should be arrested?” he asked.

“Even in the Assembly, the Chief Minister mentions Mansoor Ali Khan’s comment. How is that right?” he questioned.

Reiterating that Mansoor Ali Khan only spoke for the people, Vasigaran also slammed the government for arresting Mansoor Ali Khan, while people like H Raja and S Ve Shekher, both BJP leaders who have made controversial comments in recent months, have faced no action.

In the sound byte, Vasigaran also hit out at Edappadi Palaniswami for his comment that people are protesting for the sake of publicity. “You claim people are trying to popularise themselves… But who even knows you? You’ve been a minister for so many years, but who knows you? I am now accusing you of doing all this for publicity,” he said.

Vasigaran was referring to the comment for which Mansoor Ali Khan was arrested on June 17. The actor had said, “I came to Salem to see the water bodies filled with water. If Salem gets an airport, 8-lane highway etc, people can't live in Salem. If the 8-lane road comes, then many trees and hills will be destroyed. It will affect the livelihood of the people who live here. Hence, the state and the central government must not implement it. Moreover, if there are protests against the highway, I will definitely participate. If the eight-lane project is implemented, then I will kill eight people and go to jail.”

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