Updated: December 11, 2021 4:27:40 pm
YouTuber Maridhas has been arrested in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai city for a tweet attacking the ruling DMK after the chopper crash in which Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others were killed in Coonoor. The tweet alleged conspiracy and support to separatist forces by the DMK
BJP leaders, including state president K Annamalai, have backed the YouTuber, who is a popular face on the state social media, and issued statements condemning the arrest.
The now-deleted tweet posted Thursday, a day after the chopper crash, alleged that Tamil Nadu is “becoming another Kashmir under the DMK regime” and it gives “freedom to form groups that can do any level of treason against the country”.
The tweet added that “in such a state, any kind of conspiracy can be plotted” and that such “separatist elements should be destroyed”.
The tweet was shared by over 300 people before it was deleted. Maridhas has nearly two lakh followers on Twitter.
In another tweet on Thursday, Maridhas accused DMK of separatism. That tweet wasn’t deleted though. “Many DK (Dravida Kazhagam, a smaller Dravidian outfit in alliance with DMK) and DMK followers are seen mocking the death of the army commander and sharing smiley emojis,” he said, adding “nobody can deny the fact that DMK is the prime choice for separatists.”
Following these posts, Madurai police arrested Maridhas and booked him under sections including sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505(2) (making statements with intent to cause public mischief, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public) of the Indian Penal Code.
When the police visited Maridhas to arrest him from his Madurai residence, local BJP leaders gathered to stop the arrest and also protested outside the police station.
Following the arrest on Friday, BJP state president Annamalai said the police arrest had “seriously violated the freedom of expression available to all guaranteed by law.” “The BJP Tamil Nadu would fight tooth and nail to get all of them out of their judicial confinement. Our party would take care of them and their families in all respects.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.