In this case, Maridhas’s arrest has come a year after the FIR was filed.

YouTuber MaridhasScreengrab
news Arrest Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 12:58

Days after the Madras High Court quashed an FIR against controversial YouTuber Maridhas, he has been arrested again, this time for a 2020 video where he had insinuated the role of the Muslim community for the spread of COVID-19. This is the third case in which Maridhas has been arrested in Tamil Nadu.  Two days ago, the Madras High Court had quashed the case against him after he was arrested for a tweet alleging that Tamil Nadu is “turning into another Kashmir under DMK rule." The other arrest was for a case filed by News 18 media group alleging Maridhas faked an email and attributed to them,

In this case, Maridhas’s arrest has come a year after the FIR was filed. In April 2020, Maridhas was booked by the Tirunelveli police under charges of stoking communal sentiment based on a complaint against his videos about the coronavirus. Maridhas had claimed that “coronavirus is being deliberately spread by (Muslim) terrorists to murder innocents across the world.” 

Police told TNM that Maridhas, who is currently in Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai, will be brought to Tirunelveli on Thursday, December 16, afternoon, and will be produced before the Tirunelveli district court.

In one of the videos he states that when a terrorist becomes a suicide bomber he manages to kill about 100 people while coronavirus can kill 2,000 people. Maridhas further adds that supporters of this terrorism protect themselves with their Muslim identity and then allege discrimination in order to protect themselves. In another video titled- ‘Growing Corona numbers – Is terrorism the reason? Is the DMK doing vote bank politics?’- Maridhas alleged that the DMK was targeting him for ‘speaking the truth’ on Muslims.

Maridas was booked under IPC sections 292A (printing, etc., of grossly indecent or scurrilous matter or matter intended for black mail), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 505(2) (statements conducing to public mischief with intent to cause fear). and Section 67 of The Information Technology Act. The arrest was made as per complaint filed by Mohamad Kader Meeran of Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam in Tirunelveli on April 4, 2020 in connection with one YouTube video released by Maridas.

On December 11, the Central Crime Branch in Chennai recorded Maridhas’s arrest in a 2020 case pertaining to a complaint by television channel News18 that he used an email screenshot that was morphed. 

In July 2020, News18 Tamil Nadu approached the police stating that Maridhas was running a targeted campaign against the channel for several days. Maridhas had accused the channel of being anti-Hindu and alleged that the channel had direct and indirect connections with political outfits. He further wrote to the News18 management in Delhi.

With inputs from Nirupa Sam