The Tirunelveli District Court on Monday granted bail to cartoonist G Bala, a day after he was arrested for a cartoon that attacked the district police commissioner, collector and Tamil Nadu chief minister for their inability to prevent a family’s suicide in the state, ANI reported.
Bala had posted the cartoon on his Facebook page, and the post was shared more than 40,000 times. After his arrest on Sunday, support for the cartoonist grew on social media and #standwithCartoonistBala began trending.
On Monday, on the way to court, Bala said he drew the cartoon out of rage, The Times of India reported.
“The incident made me think that my children were burning,” he said. “I have no words to express my sorrow, so I drew the cartoon out of rage. It was not aimed at anyone,” he said, according to the newspaper.
P Essakkimuthu, a labourer, 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. While the couple had repaid more than Rs 2 lakh in interest, they were allegedly being constantly harassed. Essakkimuthu’s brother Gopi said the family had filed complaints at six weekly grievance redressal meetings at the collectorate, but the police took no action against the moneylender.