interview | K. Annamalai Tamil Nadu

‘Questioning DGP’s professionalism is my right’

Tamil Nadu, Chennai, 21/07/2021 : ( FOR CITY ) BJP state president K Annamalai, during an interviewwithThe Hindu, in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: Ravindran R/The Hindu

Tamil Nadu, Chennai, 21/07/2021 : ( FOR CITY ) BJP state president K Annamalai, during an interviewwithThe Hindu, in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: Ravindran R/The Hindu

The recent arrest of YouTuber Maridhas, known for his rightist views, has incensed the BJP, which has also alleged that 22 party cadre have been jailed at the behest of the ruling DMK. BJP State president K. Annamalai on Sunday took up the issue with Governor R.N. Ravi. In an interview with The Hindu , he alleged that the police were not acting against those spreading seditious views. Edited excerpts:

Why is Maridhas’s arrest becoming a big issue for the BJP?

For Maridhas and others who are “nationalist voices” in Tamil Nadu, there is a selective application of law. You (the police) are applying the law to favour or disfavour somebody. The local police slap all sorts of cases and inapplicable sections every time. There is someone from Tamil Nadu who tweeted that the Prime Minister was responsible for General Bipin Rawat’s death in a chopper crash, and a thousand people liked it. Why can’t the police take action against them? A woman said they will overthrow Modi ji ’s government by force. Sedition is applicable only to these posts, not to Maridhas. The complainants against BJP cadre are DMK IT wing functionaries. The Goondas Act was invoked against Kalyanraman (BJP functionary). People have abused the Prime Minister... the Chief Minister is taking photographs with 7-8 YouTubers who “spew such venom on Constitutional functionaries”.

You are a former IPS officer, and yet, you mocked the DGP, saying he was busy cycling...

When you are the DGP of a State, you are the DGP for all 8 crore people. You have a responsibility to uphold law and order. There is a selective application of law under your command. When you are busy cycling and taking selfies, when your local police is busy catching each BJP guy and throwing him in jail, then I have every right as a political leader to question your sense of professionalism. In fact, I will use the word ‘incompetent’.

He should have immediately constituted a SIT and looked into all social media posts. Now, the police force is acting like a stooge of the DMK Government.

Have you given a complaint?

We filed it online.

Why haven’t you given a complaint directly?

Till now, we have given complaints at the police stations in the last five years [when the AIADMK was in power]. Every single complaint is converted into a petition and thrown out.

Wasn’t a young woman, Lois Sofia, arrested for anti-BJP sloganeering before then State president Tamilisai Soundararajan?

Sofia shouted inside an aircraft, which is an offence.

Recently, you said the BJP was in power in 17 States and, under CrPC, action could be taken by the police against those in Tamil Nadu if a complaint is lodged in those States. Are you implying that your party cadre would give complaints there to arrest people here?

A lot of Tamils in other States are reaching out to me for advice on what to do. They are offended by the DMK’s tweets and actions. If an offence is made out, they can 100% be arrested.

There is an allegation that you are using the Maridhas issue to try and destabilise the State Government...

We have no such intention. We are taking the issue to all appropriate forums so the public understands that this is what is happening — highest level of corruption, one-family-centric [rule]. This government has become anti-people and anti-State.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 10:20:15 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/questioning-dgps-professionalism-is-my-right/article37941374.ece