Chennai: The XIII metropolitan magistrate acquitted 11 activists from charges of staging an agitation and causing a public nuisance during the anti-Neet protest in Chennai. This had occurred after the suicide of Ariyalur Anita, an aspirant of the MBBS course.
After the suicide of Ariyalur Anitha, people had staged protests across the state challenging the implementation of Neet. A large number of people, students and activists staged a series of agitations demanding scrapping of Neet, and justice for Anitha, who hung herself on September 1 after she could not get a medical seat due to the introduction of Neet in medical education.
Similarly, a series of agitation took place in several parts of Chennai. According to the prosecution, on August 24, five activists led by P. Uchimakali, 31, state secretary, SFI and G. Niruban, 26, state deputy secretary, SFI staged an agitation at the Tamil Nadu Government multi superspecialty hospital, Triplicane.
Without obtaining permission from police, they assembled in the place and raised slogans against Central and state governments. They also prevented police personnel from performing their official duty.
Again on September 2, another six activists led by C. Rajasekaran, 26, Chennai district secretary, RSYF, and others staged an agitation near Anna statue on Anna Salai, demanding justice for Anitha. They also raised slogans demanding that the Central government cancel Neet and prevented police from performing their official duty. They blocked traffic on Anna Salai. Triplicane police registered cases against them.
The activists denied the charges and stated that police had foisted cases against them. When the matters came up for hearing before the XIII Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Egmore, magistrate S. Gopinathan pulled up police for its failure to prove both beyond reasonable doubt.
The prosecution has failed to prove that the activists had staged the agitation and not submitted documents including CCTV footage, showing their participation in the agitation. Raising doubt whether such an agitation took place, the magistrate acquitted them of the charges....