Tamil orator Nellai Kannan was arrested on Wednesday after he was accused of making provocative comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, PTI reported. A police team held Kannan from Perambalur district, nearly 300 km from Chennai.
This came hours after Bharatiya Janata Party activists, led by senior state party leaders such as H Raja, La Ganesan, Pon Radhakrishnan and CP Radhakrishnan, staged a demonstration in Chennai demanding his arrest.
On Tuesday, Kannan was booked by Tirunelveli city police for allegedly making the comments. Kannan had made the remarks at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally organised by the Social Democratic Party of India on Sunday. “There is one guy called Amit Shah. [Modi] is the Prime Minister but [Amit Shah] is his brains,” he had said. “If Amit Shah is finished off then Modi is finished too. But none of you are finishing it. I keep thinking you all will do something.”
The Tamil litterateur has been booked on several charges, including instigating violence between two communities and causing intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace.
On Monday, state BJP spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathi had lodged a police complaint, alleging Kannan had mentioned Modi and Shah and said he was “shocked as to why Muslims have not yet killed the prime minister and home minister”.
Apart from Modi and Shah, Kannan had also allegedly made derogatory comments about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. At least 26 people have died in nationwide protests against the law and the proposed National Register of Citizens.