In a setback to MDMK Chief V Gopalaswamy or Vaiko, a special court has convicted the 75-year-old leader in a sedition case filed against him in 2009 by the DMK government.
According to the reports, MDMK chief Vaiko has been held guilty of sedition over his comments at the launch of his book. Judge J Shanthi held the senior Tamil Nadu leader guilty of sedition under section 124 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000.
“India will not remain one country if the war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka is not stopped,” Vaiko had said during the launch of his book ‘Naan Kuttram Saatugiren’. He was charged with speaking against India’s sovereignty. The MDMK chief gave a speech that was in support of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terror group. It was at a time when the Sri Lankan civil war was at its peak.
However, a petition was filed to suspend the conviction enabling an appeal against the order. The conviction sentence was then stayed for a month.
Earlier in 2002, Vaiko was also arrested by the then Jayalalitha government and had spent 1 year in prison under POTA charges.
Interestingly, the conviction comes at a time when the Vaiko was all set to return to the parliament after 15 years. Vaiko, who was once considered the political heir of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, was named the party’s candidate from Tamil Nadu for Rajya Sabha polls on July 18.
Ironically, the case was filed in 2009 by the DMK government, which has now extended its support to MDMK chief Vaiko. A three-time Rajya Sabha member from DMK in the past, Vaiko was also elected twice from Sivakasi.