Last Updated: June 17, 2023, 11:23 AM IST
Tamil Nadu BJP secretary S G Suryah was arrested on Friday by Madurai cyber crime cell for his alleged tweet on MP S Venkatesan. BJP state chief K Annamalai slammed Tamil Nadu Police’s move calling it an attempt to “curtail free speech.”
The action was based on a CPI(M) complaint against a social media post of the BJP state secretary and he was arrested under sections of IPC and the IT Act, PTI reported quoting police sources.
In a strong-worded letter attached to a now-deleted tweet against Communist Party of India (CPI) Councilor Viswanathan, Suryah alleged that a sanitation worker from Madurai died on the job for being forced to work in faecal water despite it being against the law, ANI reported.
He further alleged that the administration forced the deceased sanitation worker to work in faecal water due to which he developed an allergy in his body and died.
For the unversed, India banned the practice under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSR), which forbids the use of any individual for manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of or otherwise handling in any manner, human excreta till its disposal.
In the same tweet, Suryah slammed the Madurai MP for his silence and fake political practices. “Your fake politics of separatism stinks worse than that cesspool, find a way to live as a human being, mate!” his tweet which was written in Tamil, roughly translates.
Meanwhile, BJP state President K Annamalai has condemned his colleague’s arrest and accused the state government of using the police to curtail free speech.
“The arrest of @BJP4TamilNadu State Secretary Thiru @SuryahSG is highly condemnable. His only mistake was to expose the nasty double standards of the communists, allies of DMK,” State BJP president K Annamalai said on Twitter.
The arrest of @BJP4TamilNadu State Secretary Thiru @SuryahSG avl is highly condemnable. His only mistake was to expose the nasty double standards of the communists, allies of DMK. Using state machinery to curtail free speech & getting jittery for the slightest criticism is…
— K.Annamalai (@annamalai_k) June 17, 2023
“Using state machinery to curtail free speech & getting jittery for the slightest criticism is unbecoming of a democratically elected leader and, indeed, are signs of an autocratic leader in the making. Drawing inspiration from autocrats, TN CM Thiru @mkstalin is turning the state into a lawless jungle. These arrests will not deter us & we will continue to be bearers of the uncomfortable truth!” Mr Annamalai tweeted.