Madras HC refuses to stay probe against MoS Shobha for linking Tamil people to Bengaluru cafe blast

The Madurai police booked her for “promoting enmity” between different groups followed by a complaint of one Thiagarajan.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 10, 2024 | 11:17 PM Updated Jul 10, 2024 | 11:17 PM

BJP's Shobha comments linking Tamil people to Rameshwaram cafe bomb blast

In a significant move, Madras High Court Justice G Jayachandran, on Wednesday, 10 July refused to stay the investigation against Union minister and BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje in a case for her comments linking Tamilians to the Rameshwaram Cafe bomb blast.

Earlier, a case was registered by Madurai police for her comments linking people from the state to the bomb blast in Rameshwaram Cafe. Refusing to stay the investigation, the judge ordered a notice to the Prosecution and sought case records.

In a stinging attack on Tamil Nadu during the days leading up to the Lok Sabha elections, BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje alleged that “people from Tamil Nadu planted a bomb in Bengaluru cafe.” Her statement came on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Tamil Nadu addressing election rallies.

After massive backlash, Shobha had retracted her statement and issued an apology.

Also Read: 18 IPS officers transferred across Tamil Nadu

Comment on Tamilians and Rameshwaram Cafe blast

On 19 March, BJP leader and Union Minister of State (MoS) Shobha Karandlaje ignited a fresh controversy by claiming people who planted bombs at the Rameshwaram cafe were trained in Tamil Nadu, referring to the bomb blast that shook Bengaluru and left ten people injured.

While criticising the Congress government in Karnataka, Union Minister Karandlaje had alleged, “At Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, people shouted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and no case was registered for about a week. Then, people come from Tamil Nadu. They get trained there and place bombs here. They planted the bomb in the cafe. After that, another person comes from Kerala and hurls acid at three of our women students.”

The Madurai police booked her for “promoting enmity” between different groups followed by a complaint of one Thiagarajan.

Her comments angered several people, including netizens and DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, vehemently denounced Shobha Karandlaje’s statement as reckless. He had urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take decisive action against her for hate speech.

In his post on X, MK Stalin had said, “Strongly condemn Union BJP Minister @ShobhaBJP’s reckless statement. One must either be an NIA official or closely linked to the #RameshwaramCafeBlast to make such claims. Clearly, she lacks the authority for such assertions. Tamilians and Kannadigas alike will reject this divisive rhetoric of BJP. I also urge for an appropriate legal action against Shobha for causing threat to peace, harmony and national unity. From the Prime Minister to cadre, everyone in the BJP should stop engaging in this dirty divisive politics at once. ECI must take note of this hate speech and initiate stringent action immediately.”

(Edited by Neena)

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