Actor-turned-MLA Karunas was arrested in Chennai on Sunday for making alleged derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, a city police official and a few newspaper houses. The Mukkulathor Puli Padai party chief has been charged with criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity, promoting disharmony, attempt to murder and issuing death threats, The Hindu reported.
Karunas reportedly made the "abusive comments" on 16 September at a protest meeting organised by his political outfit at Vallavaur Kottam in Chennai. Naming Palaniswami and Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam in his speech, the actor-politician had claimed that his loyalties lay with the VK Sasikala camp of the AIADMK, and that "disloyal" members of his "Thevar" community had moved to the "EPS" camp, referring to Panneerselvam, The NewsMinute reported.
The MLA had contested the 2016 Tamil Nadu elections on an AIADMK ticket from Thiruvadanai.
Furthermore, singling out Deputy Commissioner of Police of T Nagar P Aravindan, who had stopped him from standing next to the chief minister at an event, Karunas said his seniors should counsel the young officer and also challenged him to a duel.
Karunas also claimed that Palaniswami was afraid of him. The Hindu quoted him as saying: "When I asked them what was the need (for high security at my protest in Chennai), they (the police deployed) said the chief minister was afraid that I was going to block him and beat him. I am not lying. You can check with the chief minister by calling him. That's true."
The Hindu Makkal Munnani filed a complaint against the legislator with Chennai Commissioner of Police AK Viswanathan soon after. On 20 September, the Chennai Police booked Karunas under a number of sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Madras City Police Act for his controversial speech, which was widely shared on social media.
He had later expressed regret for his statements, saying he had not intended to hurt any community. "As far as I am concerned, I only spoke about the demands of my community. It is not my intention to demean and speak ill of others," Karunas said while speaking to a local channel.
The Chennai Police arrested Karunas from his house in Saligramam around 5 am on Sunday, and a large number of policemen were deployed for at his residence, according to The NewsMinute. NDTV quoted a senior police officer as saying that they will "intimate the Tamil Nadu Speaker about the arrest".
Three members of his Mukkulathor Puli Padai — Karthik, Nedumaran and Selva Vinayagam — were also arrested. They will be produced before judge Gopinath's house in Egmore for remand, The Hindu reported.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Sep 23, 2018 14:50 PM