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Lady held for sloganeering against BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan on flight

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | M. ARULOLI
Published Sep 4, 2018, 1:39 am IST
Updated Sep 4, 2018, 1:39 am IST
The lady refused to apologise to Dr Tamilisai for her indecent behavior as demanded by BJP cadres at Thoothukudi airport.
Sophia (dressed in blue), the accused.
 Sophia (dressed in blue), the accused.

Thoothukudi: A young lady passenger who reportedly shouted "fascist BJP government down down" on a flight on seeing the BJP Tamil Nadu president, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan in the aircraft on Monday, was later arrested and remanded to judicial custody here.

Pudukottai police in Thoothukudi registered a case against the young woman research scholar Luois Sophia, who voluntarily picked up a quarrel with the BJP leader during the flight from Chennai to Thoothukudi.

 

A case under IPC sections 290 (creating public nuisance), 505 (1)(b) for causing fear to the public in the flight and at the airport, besides under section 75 of the Madras City police act, sources told DC here. The young lady was produced before Thoothukudi judicial magistrate court-3 and remanded.

Thoothukudi police suspect that the research scholar from Canada, a close relative of advocate Athisayakumar, one of the leading activists in the anti-Sterlite movement, might have vented her anger against the Union government on seeing BJP's state president in the flight, as it is generally perceived that the police firing at the anti-Sterlite protesters here in May was allegedly carried out at the Centre’s behest.

The accused, Louis Sophia (23) daughter of Samy, doing her PhD in Canada, was on her way to her native port-city Thoothukudi by air.

On boarding the flight, she saw Dr Tamilisai in the same flight, prompting her loud reaction. Sophia, said to have strong political opinion against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to one of the passengers, started shouting hysterically, “fascist Modi government down down”. Tamilisai, however remained cool inside the flight, but politely asked later whether her in-flight behaviour was decent, after both got down at Thoothukudi airport at around 12 noon. The PhD scholar, however without any expression of remorse, justified that she has the freedom of speech.

This “arrogant attitude” of Sophia, irritated the supporters of the BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan, who surrounded the lady and her mother and demanded an apology.

The young lady, however, refused to apologise, despite her mother advising her to do so.

Hence the BJP president preferred a complaint at the police outpost at the Thoothukudi airport and left for Tenkasi to attend a party function.

On information of the ruckus created by the lady, one of her close relatives, a lawyer, along with two of his colleagues rushed to the airport and held talks with the police. Since the lady has to return back to Canada to continue her studies, the lawyers persuaded the police not to file any complaint.

The police, however, expressed their helplessness to do so unless the BJP state president withdrew her complaint against the lady. Police also do not rule out the possibility of her act being politically motivated. As the accused is a Dalit (from Devendra Kula Vellala community), her act might have been to direct the Dalits’ ire against the BJP and its state president, Dr Tamilisai, who was on way to participate in a party function at Tenkasi where about 1,000 Dalits from various parties joined the BJP.

Speaking to media on the lady passenger’s behaviour, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan later said that she did not feel threatened by her shouting as being in politics she has the guts to face any adverse situation.

“But it is highly indecent to shout inside the flight for the simple reason that she saw a leader, who belongs to a party that she dislikes flying with her,” said the BJP state president, who too suspected that the lady passenger might have some organisational background to createsuch ruckus disturbing the public.

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