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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Madras HC grants bail to YouTuber arrested for collecting funds to restore temple murtis

YouTuber Karthik Gopinath who was arrested based on HRCE’s complaint for collecting funds to restore temple murtis has been granted bail. The YouTuber was targeted by the DMK government for criticising the latter in its inaction in preserving temples and other public issues.

Karthik Gopinath was arrested by the Central Crime Branch on the allegations of swindling money collected for the restoration of temple murtis. An HRCE official and Piyush Manush, an Urban Naxal filed complaints against him for collecting money without the HRCE department’s permission and using it for his personal benefits respectively.

Karthik had appealed to Hindus to donate money for the cause following a slew of attacks in temples located in Siruvachur, Perambalur. The temples come under the control of HRCE and HRCE said that he should have taken permission from them before collecting funds.

As per the details mentioned in the FIR, Karthik sought permission from the temple’s then EO, to restore the murtis in December 2021. He had sent a letter of consent on December 29, 2021. However, the current EO claims that Karthik’s letter was forwarded to the Commissioner, but permission hasn’t been granted to date.

As many people have been volunteering to renovate temples by collecting money on their own, Karthik’s arrest was seen as an attempt to intimidate those who are into temple activism and criticise DMK’s anti-Hindu politics. Tamil Nadu BJP State President K Annamalai had extended BJP legal team’s assistance to Karthik and his family.

While the petition to take him under police custody was rejected by the MHC, he was put under judicial custody for 15 days. He had moved the court to quash the FIR filed against him which is to be heard on June 13. Even though his bail petition was dismissed earlier, the court ordered the judicial magistrate in Poonamallee court to decide on his bail petition based on which he has been granted bail today.

The DMK government has been trying to suppress the voice of critics through such intimidating techniques. Earlier YouTuber Maridhas, Kishore K Swamy, Seethayin Mainthan aka Dakshinamurthy, Sattai Durai Murugan and many more were incarcerated for criticising and exposing the Dravidian ideology and Dravidian Model governance.

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