Days after actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's remarks on Nathuram Godse created controversy in the state, Tamil Nadu's Karur district police have booked him for 'promoting enmity'. The Makkal Needhi Maiam chief was on the campaign trail in the Aravakurichi constituency on Sunday when he said that independent India’s first extremist was a Hindu and that his name was Nathuram Godse. Godse was the man who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. Following this, Kamal Haasan received condemnation from the BJP, the AIADMK and the AMMK. The actor had called off campaign events on Monday and Tuesday.
An FIR was registered following a complaint by Hindu Munnani's Karur district secretary KV Ramakrishnan. The actor has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings). According to one report in the Times of India, the district police chief warned of strict action against 'people provoking violence on grounds of religion and language.'
Aravakurichi goes to polls, along with three other pending bye-assembly constituencies, on May 19. The actor, who was on campaign trail in the constituency, had also said, "I am not saying this because this is a Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. I am Gandhi's spiritual great grandson. I have come to ask answers for that murder. Think of it like that."
On Tuesday, MNM General Secretary Arunachalam called for the dismissal of Milk and Dairy Development Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji for saying that Haasan's tongue should be cut for his remarks.
Meanwhile, a PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking action against Kamal. BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay mentioned the petition which sought debarring of candidates and de-registration of parties abusing religion for political mileage during polls, before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice AJ Bhambhani.
The court allowed the plea to be listed for hearing.
Upadhyay, in the petition, alleged that Haasan's statement was intended to outrage religious feelings of Hindus.
"Haasan has violated the Model Code of Conduct in addition to section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. He is deliberately promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and brotherhood, which is an offence under section 153A of the IPC.”
"It is a deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of millions of Hindus, which is an offence under section 295A IPC," he said in his petition.
Terming the comment a corrupt practice, the BJP leader's petition said: "It is necessary to state that the statement was made deliberately in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gain, which is clearly a corrupt practice."
In his plea, Upadhyay said the poll body is yet to take action against Kamal; therefore, he has moved the court, seeking direction to the EC to order an investigation into the misuse of religion, race, caste, community and language by candidates and political office-bearers for electoral gain.
With IANS inputs