‘Tamil Nadu journalist arrested for selling anti- government books at a book fair’

A journalist in Chennai was arrested by police allegedly for selling a book critical of the state governmen at the Chennai Book Fair

A controversy has broken out in Chennai after a journalist was arrested for setting up a small kiosk at the Chennai Book Fair with books that allegedly exposes the state government’s corruption. Journalist, V Anbazhagan was arrested by police on Sunday for displaying his book at the stall which was compiled and published by him.

Book fair authorities had asked Anbalagan to vacate the stall on Saturday evening, the next day the police arrested him. The book fair management issued a notice asking him to vacate the stall as selling anti-government books was in violation of the prescribed guidelines.

The Chennai Press Council has condemned the arrest and has demanded his release. The Council said that the journalist asked for a reason to vacate in writing and left the venue after the same was given to him. However, the book fair officials say a police complaint was filed against him as he allegedly attacked them when they asked him to vacate.

Anbazhagan had released his RTI replies in the form of a booklet that allegedly exposed the State government’s corruption in various departments including creating Smart City.

Police have filed a case under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 249(b) (sings, recites or utters any obscene song, Ballard or words, in or near any public place) and 506(2) (punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC.