SECURITY COVER TIGHTENED AT HAASAN’S HOUSE AFTER PROTESTS
CHENNAI: Security has been beefed up at actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s Alwarpet residence in Chennai after his “Hindu terrorist” remark stirred up a political storm in Tamil Nadu. Haasan, the chief of the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), has come under fire from the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, its ally Bharatiya Janata Party and other parties, for saying at a campaign rally on Sunday that free India’s first terrorist was a Hindu, and named Nathuram Godse, who killed Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.
At least 50 policemen have been deployed at Haasan’s residence. Haasan cancelled a campaign rally in Ottapidaram on Tuesday. “Kamal will continue his campaign from Thirupparankundram Wednesday evening onwards,” MNM spokesperson Murali Abbas said.
Lok Sabha elections for 38 seats in Tamil Nadu were held simultaneously with bypolls to 18 assembly seats in the state on April 18. Four more assembly by-polls are scheduled for May 19, along with the last phase of general elections.
The MNM also sought the removal of AIADMK minister KT Rajendra Bhalaji who had said on Monday that Haasan’s tongue should be cut off for his remark. MNM general secretary A Arunachalam Bhalaji should be removed from his post for his comments, saying it showed that the minister lacked “political ethics and personal dignity”.
Bhalaji responded saying that he would take back his words, if Haasan withdrew his Hindu terrorist statement.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay has moved the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Election Commission to “restrict” misuse of religion for poll gains. The Tamil Nadu Muslim League on Tuesday also petitioned the state chief electoral officer to disqualify MNM Aravakkurichi bypoll candidate for Haasan’s statement.