NAGAPATTINAM: A government school teacher was arrested on Friday for spreading a discriminatory message against Thopputhurai village near Vedaranyam, which has a majority Muslim population. K Vijayakumar (36) from Thethakudi village near Vedaranyam teaches at a panchayat union primary school near Thirumarugal. He was arrested for initiating an Islamophobic message on WhatsApp and had called for social boycott of Thopputhurai.
According to police, Vijayakumar spread a message on WhatsApp that people from a particular community in Thopputhurai near Vedaranyam had gone to attend the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz conference in Delhi a week ago and called for the social boycott 'to avoid contradicting coronavirus'. Muslim Jamaat Mandram members filed a complaint with revenue and police officials in Vedaranyam on Thursday after essentials stopped coming to Thopputhurai due to alleged repercussions of Vijayakumar's baseless message.
Vijayakumar's number was tracked and he was arrested. "We were surprised to learn he was a teacher. Such mischief and baseless hate propaganda during the crisis should not be tolerated and will be dealt with as per law," said Vedaranyam DSP A Safiullah. Vijayakumar was booked under Section 505 1b (statements conducing to public mischief with an intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public) of the IPC and under Section 67 of the IT Act (publishing or transmitting inappropriate material in electronic form). He was remanded in judicial custody the same day.