Tamil orator and writer Nellai Kannan was arrested by the police on late Wednesday night over his alleged provocative remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah last week. He was whisked away by a police team in Perambalur district in connection with complaints against him by the BJP and the ruling AIADMK.
The move came hours after top Tamil Nadu BJP leaders, including Pon Radhakrishnan, La Ganesan, CP Radhakrishnan and H Raja, staged a demonstration near the Gandhi statue near the Marina beach in Chennai, demanding his arrest over the remarks. The BJP had also petitioned Governor Banwarilal Purohit seeking action against Kannan. Sitting on a dharna, the group raised slogans urging police to arrest the orator immediately.
According to the Times of India, he was arrested from a guest house in Perambalur. From there, he was to be taken to the Trichy Government Hospital to confirm if he was fit to travel before being produced before a judicial magistrate.
Nellai Kannan became mired in controversy after videos of his speech at an SDPI rally, held on Sunday in Tirunelveli district, went viral. In the videos, he is seen talking about the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.
He said, “There is one guy called Amit Shah. (Modi) is the Prime Minister but (Amit Shah) is his brain. If Amit Shah is finished off, then Modi is finished, too.”
He added, “But none of you are finishing it. Let that be to one side. I keep thinking, you all will do something.” He then looks around at the dignitaries on the dais, most of whom are Muslims.
In addition to this, he made sexist remarks about Union Minister Smriti Irani and spoke about former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and allegations of sexual harassment against him. He also claimed that he addressed people by their caste names.
“Everyone spoke angrily. It was good,” he says in the video. Patting Velmurugan (Thamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi) on the back, he says, “Padayachi (caste) got very angry,” adding, “The kids know, I call everyone by their caste name.”
Based on a complaint lodged by BJP District President (Tirunelveli) Daya Shankar on Monday, an FIR had been registered against Nellai Kannan.
He was booked under sections 504 [Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace], 505(1)(b) [with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquillity], and 505 (2) [statements which create or promote enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes] of the Indian Penal Code.
A day later, on Tuesday, Nellai Kannan was admitted to a private hospital after he complained of health issues.
(With inputs from PTI)