CHENNAI/NEW DELHI: The Tamil Nadu police on Tuesday filed an FIR against actor-politician Kamal Haasan for his controversial "free India's first extremist was a Hindu" remarks referring to Nathuram Godse, as saffron organisations moved the courts in Delhi against him.
BJP and AIADMK condemned him for his remarks, though Congress and rationalist outfit Dravidar Kazhagam backed him.
Stoking a controversy, Haasan had said on Sunday that "free India's first extremist was a Hindu", referring to Nathuram Godse who killed Mahatma Gandhi.
"I am not saying this because this is Muslim-dominated area, but I am saying this before a statue of Gandhi. Free India's first extremist was a Hindu, his name is Nathuram Godse. There it (extremism, apparently) starts," he said in bypoll-bound Aravakurichi.
Police in Aravakurichi in Karur district filed the FIR under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with 'outraging religious feelings' and 'promoting enmity between different groups', respectively.
A Karur police release also warned of stringent action against those inciting violence in the name of religion, caste, language and race.
In Delhi, two separate cases were filed against Haasan.
Moving a PIL before the bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani of the Delhi High Court, BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay sought directions to the EC to "restrict" misuse of religion for poll gains.
Upadhyay, also a lawyer, alleged Haasan "deliberately" made the statement in the presence of a Muslim majority crowd for electoral gains.
The petition contended this was "clearly a corrupt practice under Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951."
"As per Model Code of Conduct, no party or candidate can indulge in any activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes and communities, religious or linguistic. Similarly, there shall be no appeal to caste or communal feelings for securing votes.
"Haasan has violated the Model Code of Conduct in addition to Section 123(3) of the RPA 1951. Kamal Haasan is deliberately promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and brotherhood, which is an offence under section 153A of IPC.
It is a deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of millions of Hindus, which is an offence under section 295A IPC," it claimed.
It also said that despite the alleged misuse of religion for electoral gain by Haasan, the EC has not done anything in this regard yet.
The bench allowed the plea to be listed for hearing on Wednesday before an appropriate bench.
A Hindu Sena activist also moved the court, seeking Haasan's prosecution for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by terming Godse as a "Hindu extremist."
The matter is likely to be listed before a Metropolitan Magistrate on May 16.
Complainant Vishnu Gupta, who claimed to be the outfit's president, sought Haasan's prosecution for alleged offences punishable under IPC 153-A and 295-A. The offences are punishable with a three-year jail term or fine, or both.
He alleged Haasan "deliberately and maliciously" made "absolutely derogatory comments to outrage religious feelings of Hindus by associating terrorism with the Hindu religion".
"The comment was made with the sole intention "to promote enmity between Hindus and Muslims, and outrage religious feelings and religious beliefs of Hindus, along with that of the complainant", he claimed.