Tuticorin: A day after a student was arrested at the Tuticorin airport for shouting "fascist BJP government down down" on a flight in the presence of Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan, she has been released on bail on Tuesday.
Tamilisai, who was on the flight and complained against the woman and had said: "She was not an ordinary passenger; I suspect some extremist organisation behind her."
Lois Sofia, a research scholar in Canada, and Tamilisai, were on the flight to Tuticorin.
On boarding the flight, she saw Tamilisai in the same flight, prompting her loud reaction. Sofia, 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 Sofia, 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.
Sofia was arrested after the plane landed in Tuticorin and Tamilisai filed a complaint with the airport police. A video recorded at the airport shows the BJP leader asking angrily: "How can she shout like that? This is not a public forum."
#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
Sofia has been charged with creating "public nuisance" and "causing fear to the public in the flight and at the airport".
According to reports, the student's father AA Sami, a retired government officer, has also filed a police complaint against the Tamil Nadu BJP chief and a few others for "criminal intimidation". That case has not been registered by the police yet.
Sami said he and his wife had received their daughter at the Chennai airport and were flying with her to Tuticorin. When they arrived at Tuticorin, he said, his daughter was surrounded by men and abuses were thrown at her. The family was reportedly kept in a room for safety.
Sofia, a writer and a mathematician, is a close relative of advocate Athisayakumar, one of the leading activists in the anti-Sterlite movement. According to reports, she had earlier participated in campaigns against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin and the Chennai-Salem eight lane expressway.
DMK Chief MK Stalin slammed the police action against Sofia and demanded her release. Stalin said he too would repeat her slogan and asked: "If you'd put behind bars all those who raise such slogans, how many lakh people would you jail?"...