November 6, 2017
Image credit : Illustrative Image
Chennai: Cartoonist G Bala who was arrested on Sunday for his ‘defamatory’ cartoon was granted bail by Tirunelveli district court on Monday.
The cartoon was based on recent death of a couple and their two children due to usury on Tirunelveli Collectorate campus recently.
Immediately after release, Bala said he would continue to draw cartoons against ‘government wrong doings’.
Bala was arrested under several laws, including the Information Technology Act (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and Section 501 of the Indian Penal Code for printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory.
Bala had recently uploaded his cartoon in Facebook, which was said to be derogatory and defamatory and demeaning the Chief Minister, the Tirunelveli Collector and the Tamil Nadu police.
The Tiruneleli Collector had in his complaint said Bala allegedly described that the burning body of a child was watched by three persons without clothes. The cartoonist also interpreted the three persons as “Nellai (Tirunelveli in Tamil) Police Commissioner, Nellai Collector and the CM”.
Besides, “the three, who were depicted as naked, were covering their private parts with currency notes”.
Bala reaction on social media was: “I drew this cartoon when I was angry.”
It was on October 23 that a labourer set himself, his wife and two children ablaze on the Tirunelveli Collectorate premises after his petitions to the Collector for relief from ‘unwarranted harassment’ by a moneylender failed to get response.
Bala’s cartoon has been shared by more than 35,000 shares and viewed by thousands.