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HomeIndia'Symbol of betrayal' vs 'defamatory remarks' — AIADMK, airlines passenger file contesting...

‘Symbol of betrayal’ vs ‘defamatory remarks’ — AIADMK, airlines passenger file contesting FIRs in Facebook war

Rajeshwaran, said to be an Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam functionary, accused AIADMK members of assault, over comments made against party interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

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Chennai: Madurai police has registered an FIR against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) and four others for allegedly attacking a passenger at Madurai airport Saturday.

Meanwhile, another FIR has been filed against the passenger, Rajeshwaran, based on a complaint registered by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader R.B. Udayakumar, for allegedly making “defamatory remarks” against party interim general secretary and Leader of Opposition  (LoP) in the Tamil Nadu assembly, EPS, in a video shared live on Facebook.

EPS has been booked under six sections of IPC: 341 (wrongfully restraining someone), 294(b) (uttering obscene words), 323 (causing hurt), 392 (robbery), 506(1) (criminal intimidation), and 109 (abetting an offence) on Rajeshwaran’s complaint.

Meanwhile, Rajeshwaran has been booked under sections 341 (wrongfully restraining someone) and 294(b) (uttering obscene words) of the IPC. ThePrint has copies of both the FIRs at Avaniyapuram police station in Madurai.

Police sources, while talking to ThePrint, claimed Rajeshwaran is a functionary of the Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam (AMMK), founded by former AIADMK leader, T.T.V. Dhinakaran.

According to the sources, Rajeshwaran was travelling from Singapore to Madurai via Chennai on 11 March, and was on the same flight as EPS, who was on his way to Madurai to attend a party meeting in Sivaganga district.

While on a shuttle bus from the aircraft to Madurai airport, Rajeshwaran, went live on Facebook with a video where he can be seen alleging that he was travelling with the “symbol of betrayal”, accusing EPS of betraying V.K. Sasikala, a close aide of former CM J. Jayalalithaa, sources added.

Facebook fracas

In the video, now available on YouTube, Rajeshwaran can also be heard alleging that EPS acted against the people of southern Tamil Nadu when his government allotted 10.5 per cent reservation to the Vanniyar community, citing their extreme backwardness. Under the Special Reservation Act of 2021, the then AIADMK government had allotted the Vanniyar community the quota out of the total 20 per cent reservation for Most Backward Classes (MBC) in the state. 

Coming just ahead of the 2021 state assembly elections, the Bill was seen as a strategy to appease the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), a party representing the  Vanniyars, to ensure its continuity in the AIADMK-led alliance. The Bill was later scrapped by the Supreme Court in April 2022.  

The video comes to a stop as a member of EPS’s personal security is seen snatching the phone. The phone was later handed over to the airport officials, said sources in the police.

But another video that has now gone viral on social media shows the passenger being roughed up, allegedly by AIADMK workers waiting at the airport to receive EPS.

Airport officials intervened and took Rajeshwaran into custody for causing a ruckus at the airport, but let him off after a preliminary inquiry, sources added.

Based on a complaint filed by Rajeshwaran at the , a case has been registered against five people including EPS, and AIADMK MLA P.R. Senthilnathan. The AIADMK complaint was filed at the same police station.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

Also read: Poaching war deepens rift between BJP & AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, but parties say ‘committed to alliance’


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