The Tamil Nadu police on Saturday, March 18, invoked the Goondas Act against Muthuvel, the Ariyalur district secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), who was arrested on March 13, on charges of exporting money from a parish priest in the district.

The complaint was lodged by Dominic Savio, the parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ariyalur. The complaint alleged that Muthuvel demanded Rs 25 lakh and if he did not pay, he would tarnish the priest’s image by claiming that he harassed schoolchildren.

In the FIR, Dominic Savio said that he was approached by a person named Vinodh who claimed that he had a call recording between himself and Muthuvel. In the recording, Muthuvel is heard speaking about a suicide case of a student in Thanjavur and planning to launch a campaign against Savio for harassing students.

Initially, the police booked him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth), 298 (uttering words to hurt religious sentiments of any person), 389 (putting a person in fear of accusation to commit extortion), 504 (intentional insult to breach pace), 505 (i) (b) (intent to cause fear or alarm or fear to the public), and 505 (i) (c) (incite a community to commit an offence)…

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