October 15, 2016
Claiming that the arrest of two bank employees for reportedly spreading rumours about the ill health of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday went against their freedom of expression, members of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) petitioned the Superintendent of Police RV Ramya Bharathi to cancel the cases, here on Saturday.
In the petition to the SP, the PUCL alleged that gold appraiser Suresh and clerk Ramesh, working with a nationalised bank, were merely raising the doubts that were being voiced among the public. “We believe that spreading rumours will create public commotion, but also, arrests like these will only create panic among the public, who will then feel restrained even in one to one communication,” a PUCL member said. They also requested the police to not carry out such arrests in the future.
Ramesh and Suresh were arrested after Punitha Devi, a member of the AIADMK, filed a complaint with the police on Friday saying that they spoke ill of the chief minister’s health condition when she went to the bank.