A 40-year-old housewife from Vellore, who is an active Facebook user commenting on various social issues, has been arrested for remarks she made against a Madras High Court judge in September.
Maha Laxmi was arrested and remanded in Vellore Central prison on Tuesday, Vellore SP P Pakalavan said. “She criticised the judge by name and posted the same on social media,” he added.
According to police sources in Chennai, Laxmi was one of many people who engaged in trolling Justice N Kirubakaran for his remarks against the Tamil Nadu government school teachers’ strike in September. Soon after social media was abuzz with criticism of him, he called for a report on the offensive materials circulated online against him.
The criticism of Justice Kirubakaran’s remarks followed a protest organised by government school teachers boycotting classes along with employees’ unions demanding implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations and scrapping of contributory pension scheme. Stating that boycotts and strikes by teachers were a primary reason for government school students’ low marks in NEET exams, Justice Kirubakaran had said: “Only five government school students from the state have managed to secure medical seats. Protesting teachers should feel ashamed of this fact. They should know their responsibility. Such persons cannot be involved in strikes.” These words irked many, including social media users and teachers, who supported the strike.
Reacting to the statement against the teachers’ strike, Laxmi posted her comment, naming and criticising Justice Kirubakaran, on the next day, September 14. “Her post referred to the judge’s name and personal details, and alleged personal motives for his anger against teachers. She was traced among many, including some 25 teachers and government staff, who are awaiting action from their respective departments before arrests,” said a senior police officer.
Laxmi’s Facebook wall, seemingly supporting the DMK and M Karunanidhi, strongly criticises government policies as well as PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss. “Her husband owns lorries, her children are studying in college,” said an officer.