Protest erupts against folk singer Kovan’s arrest for criticising Jayalalithaa

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Chennai/New Delhi, Oct 31 (ANI): Politicos and members of civil society on Saturday condemned the arrest of folk singer Kovan for criticizing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. 45-year-old Kovan, a Tamil folk singer from Tiruchirappalli city, was picked up from his house in the wee hours of Friday by Cyber Cell Police. Kovan headed the cultural wing of People’s Art and Literary Association, which is a three decade old movement that advocates for the rights of the weaker section of the society by routinely performing street plays on socio-economic issues. The furor was reportedly over two of his songs, which targeted Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), a retail liquor chain owned by the government of Tamil Nadu. In one of the two songs, Kovan attacked chief minister J Jayalalithaa for being self-centred and letting alcohol claim innocent lives. Kovan’s son Charuvagan on Saturday called his father’s arrest an assault on freedom of speech. Meanwhile, a protest was carried out by an organization, People Power, in protest of the incident. Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Subramanian Swamy, said the state government was trying to create an atmosphere of sycophancy. Congress leader EVKS Elangovan called the arrest ‘undemocratic’.

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