The court directed the police to file a response petition with documentary evidence on the issue by the next hearing.

Raja Raja Chozhan row Madras HC adjourns case against Pa Ranjith to July 8
news Controversy Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:34

Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that heard the case filed against director Pa Ranjith on June 24 has now ordered Thanjavur Thiruppanandal police inspector to file a response with documentary evidence. Justice Barathidasan who heard the case adjourned the next hearing for July 8.

Director Ranjith’s counsel had argued that while there has been no law and order situation since his speech, a case was filed six days later on June 11. Referring to freedom of speech, his counsel asked for the case to be rejected.

Justice Barathidasan in return said that freedom of speech had its limits and asked for proof that Chozhan took away lands from Dalits. He further directed Thiruppanandhal police to file a response petition with documentary evidence by the next hearing.

The case was booked against the Kaala director on June 11 by the Thiruppanandal police based on a complaint from Ka Bala, former Thanjavur district secretary of the Hindu Makkal Katchi. Ranjith had made a speech at an event organised by the Blue Tigers Party (Neela Puligal Iyakkam) to commemorate the death anniversary of Umar Farooq, its founder, at Thiruppanandal near Kumbakonam on June 5. Ranjith spoke about Tamil pride and how people kept claiming that all Tamil people were one while failing to address caste divisions and discrimination. In this context, he elaborated on how there was a battle in Tamil Nadu to claim Raja Raja Chozhan as their own by different caste groups, include the Paraiyars (a Dalit caste). However, Ranjith said that he had no interest in claiming ownership over Raja Raja Chozhan because his rule was a dark period for his people (the Dalits), contrary to popular belief.

Ranjith filed an anticipatory bail plea on June 12, where he wrote that his speech was not intended to divide people. “As a chief guest at the event, I only spoke some of the truths about King Raja Raja Chozhan. How to remove casteism? How to create a casteless society? I spoke about all these, including the plight of landless people, especially those from the delta regions mentioned in Umar Farooq’s Senthamizh Naatu Cherigal,” his plea said.

On June 14, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court heard arguments in connection to director Pa Ranjith’s anticipatory bail plea. The director's counsel argued during the hearing that the speech was based on research from published books and that it was not aimed at creating enmity between communities.

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