TN man held for issuing death threat to child who played Periyar in TV show

A 35-year-old man, Venikitesh Kumar Babu, working as a driver was arrested by the Ettayapuram police in Tuticorin district after he issued death threat to a child who played the role of Periyar in a Tamil skit.

The child had on February 19 delivered a powerful speech on women empowerment in a TV show dressed as Periyar, the social reformer of Tamil Nadu.

In the skit, the child had said, “Women have a life beyond their husbands. They have dreams too and desires. Caste, religion, and culture shackle women. Stop seeing women as mere tools to give birth to children…”

Infuriated by this, Venkatesh Kumar Babu had on Saturday put a social media post in Tamil in which he said, “The child, who dressed up as Periyar, should be beaten and killed and his body hanged in a public place. Only then other children and their parents would be scared. Why not dress up as VOC (Chidambaranar), Netaji, Thevar of Bharathiyar”.

The DMK Tuticorin Urban district secretary, Suresh Kannan lodged a complaint with the local police station citing that the social media post of Venkatesh Kumar had gone viral and that immediate action be taken against him. In the complaint, the DMK leader said that this would lead to serious law and order problems in the area.

Venkatesh Kumar Babu was arrested under Sections 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of communal harmony, 505 (1) (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement or report) 506 (1) (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and 67 of the Information Technology (IT) Act (punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form).

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.K. Stalin had on Thursday invited the children, who participated in the Periyar skit, to his office and interacted with them and appreciated them for their performance. The Chief Minister had also posed for pictures with the children.

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