Hours after actor-turned-politician Karunas was arrested on Sunday morning for making derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, the opposition has questioned the alleged hypocrisy in police action. DMK President MK Stalin, while condemning Karunas' statements, questioned why BJP National Secretary H Raja is yet to be arrested for his derogatory remarks against the Madras High Court and Tamil Nadu police.
The Chennai police arrested the Thiruvadanai MLA from his residence in Saligramam at around 5 am and a posse of policemen was deployed at the venue. He had been booked by the police on September 20 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Madras City Police Act, for the speech he made at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai.
Karunas had claimed that though he belonged to the 'Thevar' community, his loyalties stood with the Sasikala camp but many âdisloyalâ members of his community had flocked to the EPS camp, referring to OPS. He further criticised a police officer for allegedly not letting him stand near CM Edappadi at an event.
The MLA later expressed regret over his comments and claimed that he did not mean to attack any particular community.
In a statement over the arrest, MK Stalin points out that while it is unacceptable for a people's representative to speak in such a manner, Karunas' arrest shows that the same law is not applicable to everyone.
"By arresting MLA Karunas even after he expressed regret over his statement, they have shown that in Tamil Nadu âjustice changes from person to person and justification changes from time to timeâ (Aalukouru neethi - Velaikoru Nyayam)," reads the statement.
It goes on to point out that complaints have been filed against BJP National Secretary H Raja in multiple police stations over a slew of issues - his social media post calling for the destruction of Periyar statues in the state, for making derogatory statements against the TN police and the Madras High court and for insulting the wives of employees of the Hindu Charitable Trust employees.
Stalin further points out that another prominent personality, SVe Shekhar had spoken in a derogatory manner about women journalists, his anticipatory bail petition was rejected by the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court even rejected the stay on the arrest.
"Despite this, it makes no sense why the AIADMK government hesitates to arrest him," says Stalin.
"It is highly unfair that there is a different law for Karunas, for H Raja and for SVe Shekhar. If criticising one police officer is wrong, then what about H Raja, who spoke derogatorily about the entire police force and the Madras Court? When we look at why they did not arrest Raja, it seems that Edappadi Palaniswami wants to keep the Koovathur resort mystery, which resulted in his Chief Ministerial post, a secret. He wants to control the anger and words of the people of Tamil Nadu in this aspect. It seems that is the reason that got Karunas arrested,â he adds.
The DMK President alleged that the people are hanging their heads in shame over the misuse of law in the state.
"So, without worrying about the background of the accused, arrests of some should be made without delay and those who should be released, should be let go immediately," he concludes.
Meanwhile, the BJP, which continues to maintain that the video of H Raja abusing the Madras High Court is doctored, welcomed the arrest of Karunas.