February 1, 2021 4:26:03 pm
A BJP leader was arrested on the charge of spreading enmity between two communities in Tamil Nadu.
According Mettupalayam police, the leader, identified as P Kalayanraman, allegedly made a derogatory reference to Prophet Muhammad while addressing a gathering in the town on Sunday.
The leader is no stranger to controversy as he had been involved in similar incidents in the past and had put up provocative posts on his Twitter handle on Sunday.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Muttupalayam SP Ara Arularasu said the public meeting, where he had made the alleged hate speech, took place around 5.30 pm on Sunday. “After hearing him speak, a couple of members of the Social Democratic Party of India reached the venue of the meeting and started raising slogans against the BJP. Though the police got them to leave the place shortly after, fresh trouble erupted a couple of hours later when some people stormed the venue and started hurling stones. They were detained by the police,” the SP said.
Members of some other local Islamic outfits staged road blockades across Mettupalayam town in protest against the alleged hate speech, demanding the arrest of the BJP leader.
Around 10 pm, Kalyanaraman was arrested. Police said close to 400 personnel have been deployed, in shifts, across the town to ward off trouble.
A couple of local BJP functionaries said the meeting was organised by the party on Sunday to register protest against the SDPI and other parties, as their leaders made unflattering references to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at one of their meetings on Republic Day purportedly in support of the ongoing farmers’ protest.
However, the SDPI spokesperson denied the charge, saying while the party has been organising several protests against the farm laws, it hasn’t targeted any individual as such. “We have been protesting the central laws, not indulging in personal attacks. The BJP is making such claims to make parties such as ours disappear from the state,” he said.
Kalayanaraman, along with another person, arrested under several IPC sections, including 504 (intentional insult to break public peace), 506 (2) (criminal intimidation) and 153 (A) (promoting enmity between two groups on the ground of religion, race). They are currently lodged in Avinasi sub-jail.
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