Tamil movie director arrested on sedition charges

October 24th, 2008 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 24 (IANS) Movie director Seeman was arrested Friday by the Tamil Nadu Police for allegedly making secessionist statements and justifying the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 by Tamil Tiger suicide bombers, official sources said.Seeman is the third person to be arrested under section 124 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (sedition) for making seditious statements during the last 24 hours.

On Oct 19, during a protest rally in Rameshwaram, the director had threatened to take part in an armed war against India if the central government did not ensure a stop to alleged killing of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan forces.

Police sources indicated that director Ameer, who made similar statements along with Seeman, was also likely to be arrested later Friday.

Seeman and Ameer eulogised LTTE chief Veluppillai Prabhakaran and justified the murder of Gandhi by suicide bombers belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, saying “Tamils were betrayed by the Indian leader”.

Speaking to reporters before the arrest, Seeman said he had committed no wrong.

“My call for a concerted action against Sri Lankan military establishment was appreciated in the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu and throughout the world where our brethren live. However, I am happy to be arrested for the cause,” Seeman said.

MDMK leaders Vaiko and M. Kannappan were arrested Thursday and remanded in 14 days of judicial custody.

MDMK workers protested their leaders’ detention and courted arrest all over the state Friday, a party spokesman said.

Vaiko and Kannappan claimed they had only hinted at the need for an armed struggle in Sri Lanka and opposed the central government’s “complicity” with Colombo’s military moves against the minority civilians.

The Tamil Nadu unit of the Congress had demanded the arrest of Seeman and other movie directors Ameer and Bharti Raja for the same offences.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly J. Jayalalitha has criticised the arrests as political vendetta.

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