BJP State working committee member Kalyanaraman was arrested on Saturday, October 16 by the Chennai police for making derogatory remarks on Twitter. Several complaints have been made against the BJP leader for his tweets against late Chief Minister Karunanidhi and abusive tweets against actor and doctor Sharmilla. There were also complaints filed by the DMK MP for Dharmapuri, Dr Senthilkumar, and advocate Maa Gopinath of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), and the arrest was made on the basis of the same.
A case has been registered under sections 153(a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth) (by words either spoken or written) and 505(2) (promoting enmity or ill will) of the IPC. This is not the first time Kalyanaraman, former National Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Mazdoor Mahasangh (BJMM), has been arrested. In February this year, he was arrested for remarks against the Muslim community and Prophet Mohammed made at a BJP election rally. Coimbatore Collector K Rajamani invoked the Goondas Act against him, which was later struck down by the Madras High Court citing the state government's delay in filing a response to the petition filed by Kalyanaramanâ€™s wife. He was also arrested in 2016 for similar comments.
Speaking to TNM, Dr Senthilkumar, MP for Dharmapuri, said, â€śKalyanaraman is a habitual offender and a woman harasser. They (the BJP) think they have the liberty to do such things and think they can get away with it. Theyâ€™re not ready to debate issues, they resort to name-calling women and respected political leaders instead.â€ť
Dr Sharmilla said, â€śKalyanaraman is just one example of the BJP cadreâ€™s behaviour on social media. They resort to character assassination the minute they are unable to respond to facts. They think that if they do this, women who speak up against them will back down. This is psychological intimidation. He deserves to be in jail. I donâ€™t think he should have ever got bail in the earlier case too. Such people are poisonous to society. They target women, create division based on religion.â€ť
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