The Tamil Nadu Police arrested Sathiyaraj Balu, a Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) worker from Nagapattinam, for uploading a defamatory post about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the reports, Sathiyaraj morphed the picture of Narendra Modi in which he was seen carrying a begging bowl. He had posted the image ahead of PM Modi’s visit to Madurai.
Soon after the post went viral, the Hindu Makkal Katchi and the Bharatiya Janata Party members brought this to the knowledge of the police and lodged a complaint demanding action.
Balu has been booked under various Section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 505(2) (Statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The case is seen as a crackdown on freedom of expression, as people in both the political and social arena are debating that the Facebook post could have been condemned, but how can such arrests be made?
It is to be noted that Balu’s party MDMK had staged a black flag demonstration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi shortly before he arrived in Madurai on Sunday, accusing him of betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu.
The Prime Minister was in Madurai where he laid the foundation stone for the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Modi inaugurated three other super speciality units of hospitals in Tamil Nadu and later addressed a public meeting.