Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan has been given protection from arrest after the Madurai bench of Madras High Court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to the actor-turned-politician for his “Hindu terrorist” remark on Nathuram Godse.

Haasan had last week filed an anticipatory bail petition before the Madras High Court, saying his speech was about Nathuram Godse only and not about Hindus as a whole.

Haasan moved the plea after the court earlier refused to quash an FIR against him, saying such pleas cannot be taken up as emergent petitions during the vacation and that if an anticipatory bail application was filed it could be taken up for hearing.

Kamal Haasan had triggered a major controversy on May 12 with a speech at Aravakuruchi assembly constituency of Tamil Nadu saying that the country’s first extremist was a Hindu while referring to Mahatma Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse.

Following his remarks, Haasan was vehemently attacked by the BJP and other party leaders.

BJP leader in Tamil Nadu Tamilisai Soundararajan accused the actor-turned-politician of appeasing minorities.

Tamil Nadu Minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji had said that Kamal Haasan’s tongue should be cut off for making the statement.

He was reportedly attacked with slippers and targeted with stones and eggs while campaigning in Aravakurichi assembly constituency. However, in all the incidents, he escaped unhurt.

Clarifying on his “Hindu terror” remark, Haasan had on Friday said that “every religion has its own terrorists and none can claim that they are sanctimonious”.

“History shows that all religions have their extremists,” he added.