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Tamil folk singer arrested for singing songs criticising PM Modi, gets bail

Kovan was arrested after a complaint by a district secretary of the BJP youth wing who alleged that the song brought disrepute to the Prime Minister’s name and post.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2018 13:34 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu,Kovan,Folk singer
File photo of Tamil Nadu folk singer Kovan. (HT PHOTO)

Tamil folk singer Kovan, who was arrested on Friday from his house at Oraiyur in Tiruchirapalli district for singing songs allegedly criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally on the Cauvery issue on March 24, was granted bail later in the day.

According to police, Kovan whose real name is S Sivadas was arrested on charges of promoting enmity between different groups, insulting an individual with an intent to provoke breach of peace and circulating a statement that may provoke others to act against the state or harm public peace.

Kovan referred to the VHP’s Ram Rajya Rath Yatra that began in Ayodhya on February 13 and had reached Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli on March 23 in his song. The state government had imposed prohibitory orders to prevent any violence in the area as opposition parties were protesting against the yatra.

The police took action against Kovan following a complaint by a district secretary of BJP youth wing, Gowtham who alleged that Kovan sang a song during Cauvery protest in a manner that brought disrepute to the prime minister’s name and post.

There was high drama during Kovan’s arrest with his relatives and friends objecting to him being taken away by police.

“The police broke open my door, barged into my house to arrest me,” Kovan said after his release.

Kovan mocked the prime minister, the BJP and VHP’s rath yatra on March 24 Cauvery protests where activists from the ultra-left Makkal Adhigara Iyakkam (Peoples Art and Literary Association) were protesting to press for the rights of the Cauvery delta farmers.

The protests were also against the central government for delay in forming Cauvery Management Board as per the Supreme Court’ s February 16 order.

Kovan is no stranger to controversy. In October 2015, he was arrested and charged with sedition for two songs on liquor shops in Tamil Nadu that had references to former chief minister Jayalalithaa.

First Published: Apr 14, 2018 12:34 IST