A Chennai-based journalist, V Anbazhagan, was arrested on Sunday for allegedly assaulting members of the Book Sellers and Publishers Association (BAPASI) — organisers of the on going Chennai Book Fair.
The alleged assault was after organisers asked Anbazhagan to remove a stall at the fair, which he had been occupying to exhibit some of his self-published pamphlets— mostly compilations of political corruption.
He also runs an organisation called Makkal Seithi Maiyam.
Sources close to him alleged that the reason for his arrest was one of the pamphlets he self-published recently about alleged political corruption of the AIADMK government.
Known for writing consistently against Minister S P Velumani, the journalist has faced cases in the past for similar publications targeting top politicians.
A BAPASI office-bearer said Anbazhagan’s stall went against a clause that strictly bans anti-government material or propaganda. “We asked him to vacate the stall as he violated it. Refusing to follow the demand, he attacked us and that forced us to file a police complaint,” he said.
Based on the complaint, Anbazhagan was booked under non-bailable sections including 341 (Wrongful restraint), 294(b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place) and 506 (2)(Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He was remanded in judicial custody by afternoon.
Opposition parties alleged that Anbazhagan was arrested for writing against the government. DMK Chief M K Stalin demanded the immediate release of Anbazhagan and senior Tamil leader Vaiko called it a fascist act by the police against a journalist who exposed political corruption.