November 5, 2017
Chennai : Tamil Nadu police on Sunday arrested noted Cartoonist G Bala for his allegedly defamatory cartoon on the death of a couple and their two children due to usury at Tirunelveli recently.
Following a complaint from Tirunelveli District Collector Sandeep Nanduri, a police team came to the city and arrested him from his house at Poonamallee near Chennai.
Police sources here said that Bala was being taken to Tirunelveli district for further interrogation.
According to the complaint, Bala, who uploaded his cartoon recently on Facebook was derogatory and defamatory in nature and was demeaning the Chief Minister, the Tirunelveli Collector and Tamil Nadu police.
The complaint further said that in his cartoon, Bala allegedly indicated that the burning body of a child was mutely watched by three nude men titled as “Nellai (Tirunelveli in Tamil) police commissioner, Nellai collector and CM”.
All the three were seen covering up their private parts with wads of naked with currency notes. Bala in the social media said “I drew this cartoon when I was furious”.
A labourer set himself, his wife and two children ablaze on the Tirunelveli Collectorate premises on the 23rd October, 2017 after his petitions to the collector, seeking relief from unwarranted harassment by a moneylender, allegedly did not evoke any response.
Despite having paid Rs. 2.34 lakh towards the principal and interests against the loan of Rs. 1.45 lakh, the victim had faced harassment as the moneylender sought Rs.2 lakh more.
Taking a serious view of the matter, the National Human Rights Commission had issued notices to the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, the District Collector and Superintendent of Police, Tirunelveli and sought a report within four weeks over the issue.