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Govt tightens Kamal Haasan’s security, minister suspects actor has IS link

india Updated: May 14, 2019 20:32 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Kamal Haasan,Tamil nadu,Security

A police officer douses an effigy set ablaze by the BJP workers during a protest against MNM)chief Kamal Haasan at Vadasery near Nagercoil, in Kanyakumari district, on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (PTI)

The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday tightened security for Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Hassan at his residence which also functions as his office after his controversial comment that free India’s first terrorist was a Hindu, sparked outrage.

The controversy has refused to fade away and minister Rajendra Balaji who had said that Haasan’s tongue should be cut off, called for an intelligence probe to find out if the actor-turned-politician was funded by the Islamic State.

About 50 policemen have been deployed at his residence and Haasan cancelled his scheduled campaigns in Aravakkurichi and Ottapidaram for Monday and Tuesday. But MNM spokesperson Murali Abbas said “Kamal will continue his campaign from Thirupparankundram from Wednesday evening onwards.”

Late Tuesday evening, Aravakkurichi police slapped two cases against Haasan over his Hindu terrorist speech.

According to the Aravakkurichi police sources , the cases were registered on the basis of a complaint by one Ramachandran, District Secretary for Hindu Munnani which is associated with the RSS.

“We have filed cases againt Kamal under IPC sections 153 A for Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and 295 A for involving deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs,” said police sources.

Tamil Nadu had gone to polls for 38 LS seats and 18 assembly by-polls on April 18. Election for the Velllore Lok Sabha set was cancelled after a huge cash seizure from associate of a DMK leader. Bypolls for four assembly seats will take place on May 19 which is the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Kamal Haasan made his controversial remark while campaigning for MNM party Aravakkurichi assembly candidate S Mohanraj on Sunday night when he said that independent India’s first terrorist was Hindu named Godse.

The Tamil Nadu Muslim League (TNML) led by VMC Musthafa on Tuesday petitioned the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CE0) Satyabrata Sahoo to disqualify MNM’s Aravakkurichi assembly candidate S Mohanraj for Haasan’s statement.

TNML a regional Muslim outfit (not affiliated with Indian Union Muslim League) strongly condemned Kamal’s statement saying it would promote enmity between Hindus and Muslims in Tamil Nadu.

“Tamil Nadu is a state where communal harmony is high. However, Kamal who wants to get Muslims votes has miscalculated and said a Hindu was a first terrorist in Independent India. His speech is an attempt to create rift between Hindus and Muslims,” said Musthafa.

“We have petitioned to the Election Commission’s TN CEO to disqualify Kamal’s Aravakkurichi candidate. Legal action should also be taken against MNM and Kamal,” Mustafa added.

A criminal complaint has also been filed against Haasan in a Delhi court for outraging “religious feelings of Hindus by associating Hindu Religion with terrorism”. Vishnu Gupta, president of Hindu Sena moved court against Haasan, saying he had made objectionable statement to promote “feelings of enmity/hatred between Hindus and Muslims”.

MNM general secretary A Arunachalam demanded the removal of Minister Rajendra Balaji who on Monday had called for Kamal’s tongue to be chopped off for making the Hindu terrorist remarks.

“As the elected representative of the people and the minister of Milk and Dairy Development in the state, Rajendra Balaji has broken the promise that he made on the constitution when he took oath as the minister. So, he must be removed from his post immediately,” Arunachalam said in a statement.

The minister reacted saying “Kamal is neither the President of the nation or the Governor of the state to ask me to step down. It was not my intention to cut off Kamal’s tongue. I just said that in the heat of the moment to convey my emotions that Kamal was wrong,” Balaji explained.

He further said if Kamal withdraws his Hindu terrorist statement, he would take back his words.

“Since I am a minister, I have the responsibility to maintain peace and harmony in the state. But, Kamal’s statement is a tool to create unrest in TN. Therefore, I used harsh words against him,” Balaji said.

He also urged intelligence agencies to track Kamal Haasan’s background. “The intelligence agencies should check whether Kamal Haasan is receiving money from the IS,” Balaji said.

Murali Abbas, MNM, spokesperson hit back saying, “Rajendra Balaji has lost all his qualities to continue as a minister. CM Edappadi K Palaniswami should sack him immediately.”

First Published: May 14, 2019 18:37 IST