A Tamil folk singer Kovan was arrested from Trichy on Friday over charges of promoting enmity between community by mocking the VHP affiliate backed Ram Rajya Rath Yatra (held across Tamil Nadu in March) and denigrating Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This arrest was a result of a police complaint by N. Gautam – BJP Tiruchi’s urban district youth wing president. Gautam has accused Kovan of singing a song denigrating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hindu epic Ramayana, during a protest over the Kaveri issue by Makkal Athikaram on 24 March. The group was demanding that the Central government constitute a Kaveri Management Board. Gautam has alleged that the tone of the song instigated violence.
As per reports, Kovan is a “Trichy district functionary of art and literary outfit Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kazhagam“. The report described him as a “propagandist singer of an ultra left outfit”. The report also claimed that Kovan’s relatives tried to prevent the police from arresting him by using their vehicles to block the police van brought in to haul him away.
It has also been claimed that Kovan’s wife locked their house to try and prevent the police officers from arresting Kovan.
When it comes to the song, a report has claimed that the lyrics were deemed to be abusive against PM Modi. Kovan has maintained that the song was not aimed at insulting the Prime Minister.
The police has booked Kovan under IPC sections 153 A – promoting enmity among groups and 506 – criminal intimidation. After being taken to the K.K. Nagar police station for inquiry, he was produced before a judicial magistrate. He was granted bail by the court on the condition of him registering a presence at the court daily for 15 days.
Kovan had also landed in trouble back in 2015, when sedition charges were filed against him for a song which supposedly denigrated late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.