BJP Tamil Nadu chief Annamalai booked by police for ‘promoting enmity’ on complaint by Christians

The case against Annamalai comes after his visit to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Dharmapuri district, on 8 January.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 12, 2024 | 12:25 PMUpdatedJan 12, 2024 | 12:25 PM

BJP TN chief Annamalai's visit to Lourdes Church in Dharmapuri district. (X)

An FIR has been registered against Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai, on Thursday, 11 January, for allegedly promoting religious enmity, the police said.

The case against Annamalai comes after his visit to Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Dharmapuri district, on 8 January, when he faced opposition from some young men.

An argument ensued between the saffron party leader and the youths. The locals raised the Manipur issue and the travails of Christians in the northeastern state.

Eventually, however, Annamalai garlanded a statue in the church and offered prayers.

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The Dharmapuri district police said that a case has been registered following a complaint from a local resident.

Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion etc), and 504 (provocation to cause breach of public peace) have been invoked against Annamalai, besides another section (505, sub-section 2) that deals with promotion of hatred, a police official said.

The Tamil Nadu BJP chief visited the Our Lady of Lourdes Church located at B Pallipatti area under the Harur Assembly segment during his “En Mann, En Makkal” (My Land, My People) yatra in Dharmapuri district.

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En Mann, En Makkal

In a strategic move to consolidate its position and popularity in Tamil Nadu ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has announced the launch of a six-month long rally called the “En Mann, En Makkal” yatra.

Covering an distance of over 1,770 km, the padyatra commenced on 28 July, 2023, led by the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit president K Annamalai, through all 234 Assembly constituencies and 39 Parliamentary constituencies in the state. It was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Amit Shah from Rameswaram.

Hours before the yatra commenced last year, Annamalai had told reporters, “This yatra is not about the vote bank. It is about bringing PM Modi back to power for a third straight term.”

The state BJP unit has focused on highlighting the achievements of Prime Minister Modi’s leadership and has garnered the support of the people to ensure his return for a third successive term.

On 11 January, Annamalai announced on X that the yatra had entered Hosur, the 150th constituency.

(With PTI inputs)