The book 'Naattai ulukkum Rafale bera oozhal' was scheduled to be launched on Tuesday evening by senior journalist N Ram.

Copies of book on Rafale deal seized in Chennai EC denies ordering seizure
news Controversy Tuesday, April 02, 2019 - 18:50

The election flying squad seized a book on the Rafale deal, just hours ahead of its release at a function on Tuesday. They also confiscated copies of the book from the showroom of the publisher, citing violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

‘Naattai ulukkum Rafale bera oozhal’ is a Tamil book written about what went on in the Rafale deal and how the Modi government allegedly arranged private companies to benefit out of a defence deal. It is authored by S Vijayan and published by Bharathi Puththagalayam.

Bharathi Puththagalayam had arranged for a book release function on Tuesday evening in Chennai. However, hours before the function, copies of the book were seized by police officials who claimed that the contents of the book violated the Model Code of Conduct.

Speaking to TNM, an employee of the publishing house said that on Tuesday morning, a team of election officers and policemen came to the showroom adjacent to the publisher’s office. “They claimed that they were from the flying squad and told us that during election time, we are not supposed to release such books. They seized 142 copies of the book from the showroom,” he said.

As news of the seizure spread, it sparked massive outrage online.

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo, however, denied knowledge about such an order from the ECI. “It looks like some lower-level functionary has done some seizure of books. There was no direction from the ECI, CEO or the DEO office for that. I think it is some flying squad officer on the information that some books without permission are being distributed,” he said.

He added that he has ordered the DEO to conduct an immediate inquiry into the issue and report to him.

By afternoon, a PDF version of the book started doing the rounds online.By evening, the seized copies were returned to the publisher. 

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