Tamil Nadu Police on Sunday arrested freelance cartoonist Bala G in Chennai for a cartoon depicting the state’s inability to prevent a family from committing suicide in Tirunelveli. “The Tirunelveli collector filed a complaint with the Tirunelveli District Crime Branch against that cartoon,” a police officer told Scroll.in.
Soon after his arrest, a twitter hashtag #standwithCartoonistBala began trending.
The cartoonist has been charged under Section 67 of the Information Technology Act.
Tamil Nadu labourer P Essakkimuthu, had set his wife and children ablaze before immolating himself outside the Tirunelveli Collectorate. Essakkimuthu had borrowed Rs 1.45 lakh from a moneylender, identified as Muthulakshmi. Though the couple had repaid more than Rs 2 lakh in interest, they were allegedly being subjected to constant harassment.
Essakkimuthu had filed complaints at six weekly grievance redressal meetings at the collectorate, his brother Gopi said. Despite being directed by the collectorate, the police took no action against the moneylender, Gopi added. “The superintendent of police is attempting to bury the facts by portraying my brother as a wilful defaulter,” the brother was quoted as saying.