Chennai Police files fresh FIR against cartoonist G Bala, press club office-bearers for staging protest

Weeks after cartoonist G Bala's arrest over the controversial caricature of Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswamy, the police registered a fresh FIR against him and the office-bearers of the Chennai Press Club for staging protest on 6 November, according to several media reports.

Following Bala's arrest on 5 November, the Chennai Press Club held a demonstration the next day by displaying two large banners of the the controversial cartoon. Although Bala had been granted bail early on 6 November, he reportedly did not attend the protest.

Bala was arrested for a caricature of Palaniswamy, the Tirunelveli police commissioner and the collector and for criticising the Tamil Nadu government for its purported inability to prevent a family from committing suicide in Tirunelveli.

File image of Tamil Nadu cartoonist G Bala. Facebook @Cartoonist-Bala

File image of Tamil Nadu cartoonist G Bala. Facebook @Cartoonist-Bala

Bala posted the cartoon on his social media pages on 24 October, which soon went viral, prompting Tiruneveli district collector Sandeep Nanduri to report the matter.

The 36-year-old cartoonist was then arrested in Chennai by a special Tirunelveli district crime branch police team.

Bala was booked under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act and Section 501 of the Indian Penal Code (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), News18 reported.

DMK leader Manu Sundaram slammed the arrest and called it an attempt to quash free speech and silence critics.

Updated Date: Nov 28, 2017 16:47 PM

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