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Thursday, August 06, 2020

Rajya Sabha MP RS Bharathi arrested in Chennai, gets bail

Rajya Sabha MP and DMK organising secretary R S Bharathi was arrested under the SC/ST Act for allegedly making derogatory remarks against marginalised communities in February.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai | Updated: May 23, 2020 11:55:39 am
Rajya Sabha MP RS Bharathi arrested in Chennai Rajya Sabha MP R S Bharathi. (File Photo)

Rajya Sabha MP R S Bharathi was arrested from his residence in Chennai’s Alandur Saturday under two sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 for allegedly making derogatory remarks against marginalised communities. The complaint was lodged by Arun Kumar, a leader of Dalit outfit Adi Tamizhar Peravai, who claimed Bharathi had made the remarks during a speech at an event organised by the Kalaignar Reading Circle on February 15 this year.

Bharathi, also the organising secretary of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), said it was a “conspiracy” hatched by the Tamil Nadu government. “We won’t succumb to these conspiracies. We will continue to raise our voice against this corrupt government,” he told reporters outside Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, where he had been taken for a medical checkup.

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Bharathi was granted interim bail till June 1 by the Egmore magistrate court.

Bharathi, 73, claimed he was arrested as he was about to expose “irregularities” in the acquisition of Covid-19 supplies in the state by the AIADMK-led government.

“The government has arrested me because I lodged a complaint yesterday against Deputy CM O Panneerselvam for corruption. We are now preparing to lodge a complaint about irregularities in the purchase of bleaching powder in Coimbatore for about Rs 200 crore,” Bharathi said. “The wedding won’t stop if you hide the comb. Even if I am in prison, our team of lawyers will make sure the complaint is lodged against the government.”

In his speech in February, the Rajya Sabha MP had claimed the elevation of certain judges to the Madras HC was nothing but alms provided by the Dravidian movement. “In Tamil Nadu, after Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) became the chief minister, he appointed S Varadharajan as High Court judge followed by many others. These appointments are alms provided by the Dravidian government,” he had said.

On Saturday, regarding the case, Bharati said, “Whatever I said was distorted and shared across social media. The very next day I apologised to you (media).”

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