FIR against H. Raja for insulting police, judiciary in Tamil Nadu

BJP national secretary H. Raja is in hot water after allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Tamil Nadu police and judiciary in Meyyapuram in the state’s Pudukkottai district on Saturday, September 15.

H Raja

Raja took part in a Ganesh Chaturthi procession, and was caught on video arguing with police officials who laid down certain restrictions during the procession. “When the police officials, asked those participating in the procession to avoid crossing a sensitive area, the BJP leader lost his cool and started using abrasive language,” NDTV reported, adding that Raja said,  “Police have become too corrupt now, you all are taking bribes. You (Police) are anti-Hindu. If you torture a Hindu, you cannot be called one. Don’t be their enemy.” He went on to say, “You are not allowing people to celebrate Pournami, I don’t care about High Court or anything,” adding, “Are you all not ashamed of wearing police uniform? The entire state police has become corrupt. How can I stand on the ground and speak? I need a stage to speak.”

According to the Times of India, the police’s Inspector Manoharan said that he had denied permission for the construction of a stage as they had wanted to put it up on disputed property. “Majority of the villagers belong to a particular religion. They opposed the move to erect a permanent stage in front of the temple. The issue is in the high court,” he said. The Times of India reported that, earlier, “another section of the villagers moved the court seeking its permission to take out a Vinayagar procession in the village.” The court granted permission and said that the police would decide on the procession route. “We allowed Raja and his supporters to take out the Vinayagar procession through another route to avoid a place of worship of the other people. But they removed the barricades and took out the procession,” a police official told the Times of India.

The Times of India noted that the procession was held when Pudukkottai Superintendent of Police S. Selvaraj and other police officials were present. When the Times of India asked why action had not been taken against him, Selvaraj said that Raja had been asked to abide by the high court’s order but had refused to do so.

The video of Raja’s remarks went viral on social media. However, according to the Deccan Herald, Raja claimed, “The voice in the video being circulated is not mine. The voice has been doctored. The video that is doing the rounds has been edited”.

An FIR has been registered against Raja and seven other people, as per The Hindu, which said that they have been booked under Indian Penal Code “sections 143 (unlawful assembly); 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant); 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony); 290 (public nuisance); 294(b) (uttering obscene words in public place); 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty); and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation).” The other accused include officials belonging to the BJP and the Hindu Munnani.

The Hindu reported that Tamil Nadu fisheries minister D. Jayakumar said that the state government was consulting legal experts and mulling action against Raja for insulting the police. “As for his comments on the court, we hope the judiciary will initiate suo motu proceedings against him,” Jayakumar said. Moreover, R. Sudha, vice president of the Madras High Court Advocates Association and national executive member of the All India Mahila Congress sent a complaint to the DGP and others seeking action against Raja. According to the Hindu she said that Raja had not just prevented public servants from carrying out their duties, “but as malignantly and wantonly entered into a provocative dialogue with the police officer with an intent to cause rioting and promote enmity between different groups on the ground of religion.”

Raja is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, he posted about Periyar statues being taken down after a statue of Vladimir Lenin was pulled down in Tripura. However, in a subsequent post, he expressed regret and said his “admin had uploaded the post” without his knowledge. Raja has also called DMK MP Kanimozhi the “illegitimate child” of the late DMK president Karunanidhi.




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