BJP's Khushbu Sundar detained on way to protest in TN

BJP leader Khushbu Sundar detained on way to protest against VCK's Thol Thirumavalavan

Actor-politician Khushbu Sundar (R). Credit: Special Arrangement

Several BJP leaders, including new entrant Khushbu Sundar, were on Tuesday detained while they were on their way to Chidambaram, a town 215 km away, for participating in a protest against VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan over his "derogatory remarks" against women. 

While Sundar was stopped on her way at Muttukadu near here, another state leader K T Raghavan was also not allowed to proceed to Chidambaram. The Cuddalore district police had on Monday night refused to give permission for the protest as they apprehend it could lead to law and order problems. 

"This protest is to oppose Thirumavalavan for his comment against women. He should apologise. Why are we not being allowed to protest?" she asked. The BJP's women's wing had organised a protest in Chidambaram, represented by Thirumavalavan in Lok Sabha, against his comments on women, quoting the Manusmriti. 

In Chennai, the BJP cadre burnt an effigy of Thirumavalavan even as cadres of the BJP and the VCK clashed in Madurai and other parts of the state. 

The cybercrime cell of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) had last week filed a case against Thirumavalavan, a prominent Dalit leader in Tamil Nadu. The case relates to "derogatory remarks" made by the Lok Sabha MP during a speech in which he speaks about how the Manusmriti demeans women.

A case has been slapped against him under Sections 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153 A (1) (a) (dealing with attempts to promote ill-will between communities), 295 A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 505 (1) 9B), and Section 505 (2) of the IPC.

As the issue gained political attention, Thirumavalavan had said he never made any derogatory comments against women but was only referring to how they were described in the Manusmriti.

"I said Manusmriti demeans women. But those with an eye on political mileage, a casteist-communal group is spreading falsehood against me and creating an impression as if I spoke against women. This is completely wrong. We are struggling for women's emancipation," Thirumavalavan said, in his reaction.

Thirumavalavan's VCK is part of the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu and the Dalit leader is one of the vehement critics of the BJP in the state.