Balaji Uthamarasamy, BJP’s district president, dared Raja to enter Coimbatore without a police escort.

Balaji Utharsamy in a white shirt speakingScreengrab/Facebook
news Crime Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - 17:53

The Coimbatore district head of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Balaji Uthamarasamy was arrested by the police on Wednesday, September 21, for making threatening and derogatory remarks against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) deputy general secretary A Raja and the DMK party. BJP party cadres were also arrested by the police after they staged a protest condemning Balaji’s arrest and burnt an effigy of Raja.

Balaji leader had threatened Raja on the latter's remarks against Hinduism during a function held in Namakkal on September 6, where Raja had said that a person would remain a Shudra and an untouchable as long as they were Hindu, and a person was a ‘son of a prostitute’ as long as they were a Shudra. On Monday, Raja, who was speaking at a book launch event in Chennai, had said he was not anti-Hindu, nor was the DMK and the Dravidian movement, stating, “For the 60% people who are Backward Class — who are Hindu — it was the Dravida Kazhagam and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam that fought for and got reservation…The people who opposed it were Brahmins and Rajputs and upper castes.”

Read: ‘We fought for reservations for Hindu BCs’: A Raja hits back at BJP’s apology demand

Challenging A Raja to enter Coimbatore without a police escort, Balaji in a public address, said Hindu outfits in Coimbatore would not allow him to enter the city. He also attacked Chief Minister MK Stalin, asking, "Mr Stalin, do you have the qualification to be the Chief Minister? Is he talking only about us? He is also talking about your wife and your mother. What right does A Raja have to talk about Hindu religion? He belongs to a minority community. He lied to get an MP seat and won the elections with the votes of Hindu people,” he said.

According to a report in The Hindu, Balaji was arrested after a complaint was filed by Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, against him. A First Information Report (FIR) has also been registered under Sections 153 (intent to cause riot), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of the peace) and 505(1)(b) (induce person to commit offence against state) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, BJP state president K Annamalai and national president of BJP Mahila Morcha Vanathi Srinivasan condemned the arrest of Balaji. “Today @BJP4TamilNadu Coimbatore District president Thiru @balaji_utham was arrested; his only mistake was to condemn @arivalayam MP Thiru @dmk_raja for his remarks on Shudras as sons of prostitutes. The @arivalayam govt will face the same end as every authoritarian regime,” Annamalai said in a tweet.

“The arrest of Coimbatore District @BJP4TamilNadu president by @tnpoliceoffl and the manner in which he was arrested are strongly condemned. Our cadre is not afraid of such threats from the @arivalayam government. Let's face this legally,” Vanathi tweeted in Tamil.

Earlier on Tuesday, right-wing outfit Hindu Munnani called for a hartal in the MP’s home constituency of Nilgiris condemning A Raja, during which a majority of shops in the Coonoor and Kotagiri taluks remained closed on the day. The BJP also staged protests against Raja in several parts of the state, including Nilgiris, Mettupalayam and Sathyamangalam areas.

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