[One of the most popular cartoonists in the state, Bala’s political cartoons discussing various issues have had a key role in social media debates in Tamil Nadu. (Photo: G Bala/Facebook)]
Chennai: G Bala, a freelance cartoonist based in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu has been on Sunday arrested by Crime Branch wing for a caricature he posted on social media criticising Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and district administration.
One of the most popular cartoonists in the state, Bala’s political cartoons discussing various issues have had a key role in social media debates in Tamil Nadu.
Police said he was arrested under Section 67 in the Information Technology Act (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and Section 501 of the Indian Penal Code (Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory).
The arrest of Bala comes after he uploaded the "obscene" cartoon on his Facebook page a day after a labourer Esakimuthu doused himself and his family in kerosene, and set them on fire in the campus of the Tirunelveli collector's office.
His wife and two daughters died within hours whereas Esakimuthu a few days later due to the injuries.
The relatives of the deceased alleged that the man, who had hoped to start a small business, had approached the authorities against the loan shark who had lent him money at a very high interest rate and killed himself in disappointment.
Chief Minister Palaniswami had responded to the suicide with appeals to people to come forward with complaints against loan sharks.
About a week ago, S Thirumurugan was arrested from Srivilliputhur town near Virudhinagar on a complaint by BJP district secretary for former's alleged abusive remarks on Prime Minister Modi in a private chat on social media.