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TN: Sedition case against 6 activists of anti-liquor group

A case of sedition has been registered against six activists of an anti-liquor group for allegedly making incendiary speeches at a recent meet to demand closure of state-run liquor outlets, drawing sharp reaction from Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the BJP.

The six activists of ‘Makkal Adhikaram’ were booked by police for allegedly making inflammatory speeches at the event held on February 14 at Tiruchirappalli. ‘Makkal Adhikaram’ is a group with Left-leanings and running a campaign seeking closure of state-run liquor outlets.

The activists were also booked under other IPC sections including 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) on March 26, police said. In a similar case, last October, ultra-left folk singer Kovan was arrested on sedition charges and for allegedly singing a defamatory song against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa over liquor issue. He was released on bail later. The issue had snowballed into a political controversy.

Referring to both cases, MDMK general secretary and coordinator of People’s Welfare Front (PWF), Vaiko said he “strongly condemned” the police action. “The case against Makkal Adhikaram activists should be withdrawn immediately,” he said, adding the people would show their resolve against such things in the May 16 polls.
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