A 28-year-old woman was arrested in Tuticorin on Monday for raising slogans on a flight against the BJP government in the presence of Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan on Monday.
She was granted bail on Tuesday.
The Indian Express reported that Lois Sofia, a woman who studies in Canada and was on her way home with her parents on a flight from Chennai to Tuticorin, when she shouted “fascist BJP government down, down” after the flight landed.
The report says that Sofia was arrested after the BJP leader filed a complaint against her with the police at Tuticorin airport. She had been sent to 15 days’ judicial custody on Monday.
A video of the incident, where Soundararajan was telling the woman not to raise slogans at her because it was not a public forum, was also doing the rounds of social media:
#WATCH BJP Tamil Nadu President Tamilisai Soundararajan got into an argument with a co-passenger at Tuticorin airport. The passenger who has now been detained had allegedly raised ‘Fascist BJP Govt down down’ slogan #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/TzfyQn3IOo
— ANI (@ANI) September 3, 2018
“There are IPC Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 290 (public nuisance) and Section 75 of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act,” the India Express reported an officer as saying.
Speaking to NDTV, Soundararajan said that she filed a complaint because she felt her life was under threat, “I suspect there is some extremist organisation behind her. She doesn’t appear like an ordinary passenger. I felt my life was under threat.”
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Sofia is said to have also protested against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin.
While the BJP leader claimed a threat to her life, Sofia’s father described the events very differently.
He told News18, “As soon as the flight landed, Tamilisai along with her supporters rounded us up. BJP cadre were abusing us and threatened us. For more than 8 hours, police kept my daughter in station for inquiry. She didn’t use any derogatory remarks about Tamilisai or anyone. She just said “Fascist BJP Down down”, which is purely freedom of expression. Now, I have lodged complaint against Tamilisai and others for threatening us.”