Quickly after the NIA raids not solely on Duraimurugan’s residence but additionally on buildings related to different NTK officers, the get together moved the Madras Excessive Court docket. In its petition, the NTK claimed that the raids have been “politically motivated,” executed with the intention of “arming the get together and thus creating a way of concern amongst its cadres.”
Duraimurugan, the 36-year-old propaganda secretary of the NTK, recognized for his YouTube channel ‘Saattai’ (whip), repeated the allegation to ThePrint. He additionally alleged that each the Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) and the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have been repeatedly focusing on his get together for its political development.
“NTK and I’ve by no means mentioned or written about utilizing weapons as a device in our political wrestle,” he advised ThePrint. “We’re a celebration created to democratically combat for Tamils, Tamilians, our tradition, literature and so forth,” Duraimurugan mentioned.
ThePrint reached spokespersons of BJP and DMK by means of calls and textual content messages for his or her response to Duraimurugan’s allegation. This report will probably be up to date if and once they reply.
Nonetheless, regardless of Duraimurugan’s claims, NTK is thought to have repeatedly run into bother within the state, countering each the ruling DMK and the BJP with provocative speeches.
Duraimurugan himself is going through as many as 11 FIRs, with fees starting from rioting and selling disharmony to felony intimidation.
On his half, L. Murugan, a BJP chief and Minister of State for Info and Broadcasting within the Narendra Modi-led Nationwide Democratic Alliance (NDA), mentioned the raids have been carried out solely “after it was confirmed that their actions have been in violation of the curiosity of the nation”.
“The motion exhibits that NTK was indulging in anti-national actions,” he advised the media on the sidelines of a celebration assembly in Coimbatore on Sunday.
In line with political observers, NIA’s transfer poses a “actual problem” to the get together, which projected itself as a substitute for the 2 major Tamil events – the DMK and the rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
“They (the NTK) have separatist and extremist views on points and it makes it a sound investigation by the NIA to rule out doubts,” political analyst JVC Sreeram advised ThePrint.
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From its founding to the 2021 polls: NTK’s development
Seeman, recognized for Tamil movies like Panchalankurichi (1996) and Thambi (2006), launched the NTK in 2010, primarily in response to the civil battle in Sri Lanka, which ended the 12 months earlier than and which killed an estimated 100,000 civilians, a lot of them Tamil.
The filmmaker sees the NIA raids as a approach to ‘threaten’ the NTK. “They ask us to ship cash to LTTE. For a very long time they mentioned I acquired cash from LTTE… now they’re saying this. (The federal government) has solely mentioned that LTTE doesn’t exist. Then how can we ship cash to them?” he advised the media after the raids.
In line with analysts, the NTK has seen a marked development within the state when it comes to vote share regardless that it has not gained a single seat but. Within the 2016 Meeting elections in Tamil Nadu, when the get together made its electoral debut, it secured 1.1 % of the votes. This rose to three.9 % in the course of the 2019 basic election.
Within the 2021 Meeting elections, NTK’s vote share had grown to six.6 % – the third largest after DMK (38 %) and AIAMDK (33 %).
The get together is usually the default selection for individuals who haven’t but determined who to vote for, or who would in any other case have opted for NOTA, analyst Sreeram advised ThePrint.
“Though a celebration like NTK seems to be from the skin as if it has no relevance, you discover that in apply there may be a whole lot of assist for it,” he mentioned. “It most likely will not translate into votes, however there may be unbelievable traction for the get together.”
YouTuber Duraimurugan claims to subscribe to the Dravidian ideology of the world Dravidar Kazhagam – a social motion of EV Ramaswamy ‘Periyar’ from which events just like the DMK and the AIADMK emerged.
It was in 2009 – on the peak of the battle in Sri Lanka – that Duraimurugan, then a medical consultant, first started to be drawn to Seeman’s ideology. By then, the filmmaker had even demanded arrest for one in every of his extra fiery speeches in favor of the LTTE.
“There was a whole lot of anger in opposition to the then central authorities and the then ruling DMK authorities within the state for his or her inaction in the course of the Tamil subject in Sri Lanka. I had heard a speech by Seeman the place he talked about forming a authorities in TN that focuses on Tamil language, ethnicity, tradition, and many others. When the get together was shaped, I wished to affiliate with him,” Duraimurguan mentioned.
Right now, his YouTube channel Saatai has 1.2 million subscribers and is thought for his controversial movies. Because the propaganda secretary of the NTK, he makes use of his channel to assault the ruling institution, the DMK.
“Social media has turn out to be a serious platform with a huge effect. We’re telling folks in regards to the corruption within the authorities, in regards to the issues within the schemes, and (and likewise conveying the message that) all those that communicate in opposition to the DMK will all be arrested and compelled to stay silent,” he mentioned. “Instances are being filed in opposition to anybody who’s in opposition to the DMK with the intention of silencing them.”
Accused of, amongst different issues, rioting, selling disharmony and felony intimidation, Duraimurugan has 11 FIRs in opposition to him.
The primary case in opposition to the YouTuber was filed in 2018 over a scuffle he and his get together had with the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) – a celebration based by former DMK chief Vaiko. Seeman, Duraimurugan and fourteen others have been charged with, amongst different issues, rioting, illegal meeting and assaulting a public servant.
In June 2021, Duraimurugan was arrested for allegedly threatening and abusing a person in his hometown Trichy. Months later, he was booked for harassing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and his father, the late DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, in a controversial speech that additionally contained references to the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in an LTTE suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur .
“You (Stalin) could have discovered from Karunanidhi and Annadurai, however we have now discovered from our chief Prabhakaran (former LTTE commander). Youngsters of Periyar and Annadurai might be able to communicate and write, however Congress get together males know what the youngsters of Prabhakaran know, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi,” he mentioned.
In line with Duraimurugan, NTK’s development and his fierce opposition to each the DMK and the BJP have made the nation – and him – a goal for each events.
“We’re a celebration with out a massive monetary background, with out massive political advisors like Prashant Kishor or Sunil Kanugolu,” he mentioned. “We went on to the folks, not by giving cash for conferences, rallies or votes. These circumstances and raids are being executed to create the notion that NTK leaders are derogatory audio system and hope that the supporters we have now will lose confidence in us.”
In a press release after final week’s raids, NIA claimed it had recovered one laptop computer, seven cellphones, eight SIM/reminiscence playing cards, 4 pen drives and a few “incriminating paperwork”. Books on the LTTE and its slain chief, Prabhakaran, have been additionally discovered, the assertion mentioned.
“Each books have been bought at a state guide truthful in 2021. They aren’t banned books both,” he mentioned.
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)
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