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TN Cartoonist Bala Granted Bail Day After Arrest Over CM Palaniswami's Caricature

Bala’s arrest by a special Tirunelveli District Crime Branch Police team had led to uproar on social media and criticism by opposition parties.

News18.com

Updated:November 6, 2017, 11:06 AM IST
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TN Cartoonist Bala Granted Bail Day After Arrest Over CM Palaniswami's Caricature
G Bala's cartoon had gone viral and was shared over 40,000 times. (Photo: TV grab)
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Chennai: Prominent cartoonist G Bala alias Balakrishnan was granted bail on Monday morning, a day after being arrested for a cartoon depicting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami allegedly in a distasteful manner over a poor family’s suicide.

Bala’s arrest by a special Tirunelveli District Crime Branch Police team had led to uproar on social media and criticism by opposition parties. Protesting the arrest, Chennai Press Club had announced a demonstration in the state capital on Monday.

Bala, 36, was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Tiruneveli District Collector Sandeep Nanduri, who was also caricatured in the cartoon along with the city police chief.

Earlier, police sources had said the chief minister was depicted allegedly in a distasteful manner in the cartoon which was uploaded on a website on October 26.

The cartoon was uploaded days after a man and his wife set themselves and their two kids afire at the Tirunelveli Collectorate complex allegedly due to harassment by a money-lender. While the woman and her two children died on the day of the incident on October 23, the man succumbed to injuries later. The incident drew widespread condemnation from political parties and civil society groups over usury.

Family head Muthu resorted to the extreme step as the money-lender was harassing him demanding more money despite him having returned Rs 2.34 lakh, including interest, for a loan of Rs 1.40 lakh, his brother had alleged. The police had later arrested three persons, including the financier and his wife, in connection with the incident.

After the incident, Palaniswami said the state had in 2003 enacted a legislation against charging of exorbitant interest rates by money-lenders.

He had directed the district collectors and police officials to act swiftly on any complaint related to usury.

(With PTI inputs)
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