A member of the Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam based in Trichy in Tamil Nadu has been picked up by the Chennai police, reportedly for criticising the government. MKIK is an arts and public performance group which takes up political agitations and campaigns. The Chennai police is yet to reveal the exact nature of the charges. The folk singer is said to be in police custody now.
The artists and activist, Kovan, had recently released a song on alcoholism in the state, blaming the Jayalalithaa government for the same.
Members of the MKIK told TNM that officers of the Chennai police arrived at folk-singer and MKIK member Kovanâs house at Oraiyur in Trichy at 2AM on October 30 and detained him.
âThey did not tell us initially why he was being arrested, only when he was taken in and they were on their way to Chennai did they tell us,â said Saravanan, a member of MKIK.
Supporters are also said to be gathering in Chennai to protest his arrest. Kovan was brought to the DGPâs office in Chennai early this morning.
In the soundtrack released by MKIK, Kovan sings that the whole of Tamil Nadu is under the influence of alcohol and âPoesâ is rejoicing at that, âPoesâ being a reference to the residence of TN CM Jayalalithaa at Poes Garden in Chennai.
He talks about the increasing price of food and education in the state and then sings, âif you donât cry out that she is your saviour, then you will be killedâ.
The song then goes on to point out how schools are being closed but liquor shops are being opened, and how everyone is being made to drink alcohol. The singer also talks about âMidas Distilleriesâ which is often linked with Sasikala, Jayalaithaaâs close aide.
The song is said to have gone viral on social media and WhatsApp groups over the past few days.
The Chennai police and lawyer representing Kovan, Gym Raj Milton, have said that Kovan has been arrested under 124A (sedition), 153 (attempt to create enmity between social groups) and 502/1 (sale any printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter) by the Chennai city crime branch police.
He has been arrested for two of his songs, 'Moodu Tasmac Moodu' and 'Ooruku oru Sarayam'.