Tight vigil at Mettupalayam, sensitive areas in Coimbatore

700 police personnel deployed; search on for more BJP members

Published - February 01, 2021 11:48 pm IST - Coimbatore

Popular Front of India staging a protest at Ukkadam in the city on Monday to condemn the arrest of its members at Mettupalayam.

Popular Front of India staging a protest at Ukkadam in the city on Monday to condemn the arrest of its members at Mettupalayam.

The police maintained a tight vigil in communally sensitive pockets in Coimbatore district on Monday following the tension at the BJP meeting held at Mettupalayam on Sunday.

More than 700 police personnel were deployed in and around Mettupalayam where members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) disrupted the BJP meeting in which the party’s State executive committee member R. Kalyanaraman allegedly made derisive remarks on Prophet Muhammad and Islam.

Tiruppur City Police Commissioner G. Karthikeyan (in-charge of West Zone IG), DIG (Coimbatore range) K.S. Narenthiran Nayar and Coimbatore Rural SP Ara. Arularasu camped at Mettupalayam on Monday.

Kalyanaraman (54) of Mannady in Chennai and D. Sathish Kumar (48) of Kattoor near Mettupalayam, divisional organising secretary of the party who arranged the meeting, were arrested before midnight. Eight more persons booked by the police, members of BJP and affiliated organisations, were at large.

The arrested were booked under Sections 147 (punishment for rioting),148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon),149 (unlawful assembly), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace),506 (ii) (criminal intimidation- if threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony),153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the IPC. They were remanded in judicial custody on Monday.

Sources in the police said Kalyanaraman’s speech had insulting remarks on the Prophet, Islam and Islamic history. His speech also had remarks on Gujarat riots in which he said that Hindus no longer wanted to seek shelter in bunkers after 2002.

SDPI worker held

The police on Monday arrested an SDPI worker on charge of hurting a woman by hurling a stone on Sunday. Two other SDPI workers were held for allegedly defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an agitation organised at Mettupalayam bus stand in support of the farmers’ rally in Delhi on January 26.

On Monday, the BJP staged agitations at some places in Coimbatore rural in protest against the arrest of Mr. Kalyanaraman and Mr. Kumar.

Members of the Popular Front of India took out a rally from Ukkadam to Athupalam in Coimbatore city, condemning the arrest of persons on charges of disrupting the BJP meeting.

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