Chennai cartoonist faces fresh charges

Chennai, November 29:  Tamil Nadu police on Tuesday registered a fresh First Information report (FIR) on cartoonist G Bala for publishing a new cartoon on the death of a young techie, Ragu who died after he crashed with his bike into an large political hoarding which was constructed illegally. Two office bearers of the Chennai Press club were also booked for supporting the cartoonist again for the second time.

The cartoonist had been arrested previously because of a cartoon that he published on his facebook page and was released on bail on the November 13.

G Bala had sketched a cartoon following the incident that took place in Thirunevelli district of Tamil Nadu where a family of four immolated themselves in public, due to the increasing pressure from the moneylenders. The cartoon depicts the Nellai district Collector T. S. Anbu, Police Commissioner Sandeep Randuri and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy stark naked, hiding their genitalia with wads of cash, while they look upon the blazing body of a child.

A protest meeting was held by members of the Press Club of Chennai to mark G Bala’s release. A large poster of this cartoon was hung at the entrance of the building. It is because of this protest that the cartoonist and the other two journalists came into spotlight of the Police.

The new cartoon depicts a police running behind a cartoonist and journalist to catch them beside a bloody road, while the over arching hoarding of E.Palaniswamy looks over.
G Bala in an interview with a media agency said today that he is unfazed by the state’s oppression and will continue sketching on what he finds important.


By Sunayana Biswas, with Agency inputs