The Tirunelveli police, on Wednesday, arrested an 18-year-old for uploading a video on TikTok depicting a cat hanging from the ceiling.
On May 16, a video was uploaded showing a dead cat hanging by a rope tied to the ceiling of a house. It also shows a youth touching the cat and making it swing below the pole to which the rope was tied, with an audio track of a popular comedy scene by Vadivelu from the movie Friends in the background.
The disturbing visuals of the dead cat sparked outrage among the people on social media, who demanded that the accused be brought to book and be arrested.
According to the police, the man in the video is Thangaraj, who lives in Sathyapuram, around 25 kilometres from Tirunelveli city. â€śHe had hung a cat by the rope expecting more views for his video on TikTok,â€ť a police officer in Pazhavoor told TNM. Based on a complaint filed by Bhagyaraj, a local activist, on May 19, the police arrested Thangaraj on Wednesday.
An FIR was filed against him under sections 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 11 (treating animals cruelly), 11(i) (without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which render it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Thangaraj has been let out on bail after arrest.
A TikTok video had led to the arrest of six men for animal cruelty earlier too. On April 23, The Tamil Nadu Forest Department arrested six men in Trichy for hunting a monitor lizard and consuming its meat. The crime caught the departmentâ€™s attention after they received a TikTok video showing these men eating the meat. The department had traced and arrested the accused a couple of days after receiving the video.
Similarly, in Tirunelveli district, the forest officials had warned three persons in April last week for posting TikTok videos showing them hunting animals with dogs. Six such cases have been brought to the attention of the officials in Tirunelveli alone between April 1 and May 11.