Cartoonist Bala arrest: PCI seeks report from TN govt

The Press Council of India (PCI) has asked for a report from the Tamil Nadu government on the arrest of a freelance cartoonist for allegedly depicting Chief minister K Palaniswami in an obscene manner.

“Taking suo motu cognisance of the issue, the (PCI) Chairman has directed the government of Tamil Nadu through the chief secretary, the Secretary (Home), the Director General of Police to file a reply statement and a report on the facts of the case,” the council said in a statement.

The PCI said it has “noted with concern” reports of the arrest of G Bala by the Tamil Nadu Police.

Bala, who met the media in Chennai on Tuesday, thanked all for their support and said he would continue with his work.

A judicial magistrate Court in Tirunelveli on Monday granted bail to cartoonist G. Bala, 36, who was arrested in Chennai on Sunday for allegedly defaming the Chief Minister and the Tirunelveli Collector and the Police Commissioner in a caricature drawn in the wake of the recent usury-related self-immolation of a family in the district.

Bala told journalists, “I could not sleep for two days as if my children were charred. I had done nothing personal against the Collector. When he initiated steps for the ‘Wall of Kindness’ to help the poor, I felt so proud of him. When he failed to act on the repeated petitions of a usury victim forcing him to immolate himself and his family, it disturbed me a lot and I just reflected my agony through my caricature.”