Cartoonist Bala released on bail

A day after his arrest in connection with his "defamatory" cartoon, senior cartoonist G Bala was granted bail by the Tirunelveli district court on Monday.

Bala was arrested for his cartoon that depicts the death of a couple and their two children due to usury in the Tirunelveli Collectorate campus recently.  

Bala uploaded the cartoon on his Facebook account and this was seen as "derogatory and defamatory" art against the chief minister, Tirunelveli collector and Tamil Nadu police. A case was slapped against Bala under various sections of the Information Technology Act (Punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and Section 501 of the IPC (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory).

Soon after his release, the cartoonist said he would continue to draw in order to highlight wrongdoings of the government.

In his complain, Tiruneleli collector claimed that Bala described the burning body of a child that was watched by three persons without clothes. The cartoonist titled the three persons as "Nellai (Tirunelveli in Tamil) police commissioner, Nellai collector and CM".

In addition, the cartoon further projected that "the three persons, who were depicted as naked, were covering their private parts with currency notes".

"I drew this cartoon when I was angry to the core,"  Bala said on Facebook.

On October 23, a labourer set himself, his wife and two children ablaze within the Tirunelveli Collectorate premises after his petitions seeking relief from unwarranted harassment by a moneylender did not invoke any response.

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