Film directors arrested for making pro-LTTE speeches

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Chennai, Oct 24 (UNI) Popular Tamil Film Directors Seeman and Ameer were today arrested for pro-LTTE speeches they allegedly made during the agitation organised by the tinsel world at Rameswaram recently, to condemn the killings of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka.

A special team of ''Q'' Branch Police went to Seeman's residence at Virugambakkam and arrested both the directors under Sec 13 (1)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and Sec 124 A of IPC (for sedition).

Ameer and Seeman participated in the human chain and the former accompanied latter to his home when the arrests were made.

They were later produced before a Magistrate and remanded in judicial custody. They were taken to Puzhal Central Prison.

The police had to wait for three hours to arrest the directors as both of them, who were busy participating in the Human Chain Rally, organised by the ruling DMK to espouse the cause of the suffering Tamils in Lanka, were caught in heavy traffic.

The arrest of the directors comes a day after the Tamil Nadu Government, bowing to pressure from parties like the Congress and the AIADMK, arrested MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, a vocal supporter of the LTTE, in the city and its Presidium Chairman M Kannappan at Pollachi in Coimbatore District.

The Congress, taking exception to the pro-LTTE speeches made by some film artistes at Rameswaram on October 19, demanded the arrest of film directors Bharathirajaa, Ameer and Seeman.

Taking cognisance of the speech made at Rameswaram, the Q Branch Police registered cases against Seeman and Ameer, leading to their arrest.

Earlier, despite facing imminent arrest, an unfazed Seeman said he did not speak anything against law.

''My speech only reflected the sufferings of the Lankan Tamils,'' he said.

Stating he did not see any difference between Sri Lankan Tamils and the LTTE, Seeman said it (the fight in Lanka) was a crusade to protect themselves and their livelihood.

On his controversial speech, Seeman said in a democratic nation every one had the right to speak one's mind.

''If a few people have the right to condemn a banned organisation, obviously a few would have the liberty to voice their feelings in support of it,'' he added.

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