COIMBATORE: Police on Sunday intervened in an event organised to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, after the organisers referred to Nathuram Godse and the RSS while taking a pledge. Cases were registered against more than 20 people.
Leaders of CPI(M), TPDK, VCK and a few other parties came together under the banner Kovai Mavatta Makkal Otrumai Medai, and organised a meeting to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary. While taking oath, CPI(M) politburo member G Ramakrishnan, allegedly referred to Godse and RSS. Police personnel at the venue intervened and halted the event, saying the wordings could offend the feelings of members of a particular religion. They also cited the Model Code of Conduct and objected to words printed on a banner. This led to a heated exchange between police and the organisers. Police allowed the programme to continue only after the organisers masked a word on the banner.
“While remembering Mahatma Gandhi, the chief minister commented on Godse. Then why should the Coimbatore police oppose remarks on him and the RSS? If they have any objection they can file a case. Keeping us from continuing the event is unacceptable,” Ramakrishnan told TNIE. CPI (M) State secretary K Balakrishnan issued a statement condemning the police action. Police Commissioner Pradip Kumar said the organisers only obtained permission to pay floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
Urban local body election flying squad officer Sureshkumar lodged a complaint against the event oraganiser with the police, who registered a case against C Padmanaban of CPM, Ku Ramakrishnan of TPDK, Susi Kalaiyarasan of VCK and 20 others under Sections 143, 341, 269 of the IPC and Section 4 of the TN Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act.