Student Arrested For Raising Anti-BJP Slogan At Tamil Nadu Chief On Plane

TUTICORIN: A woman was arrested at the Tuticorin airport in Tamil Nadu on Monday for allegedly raising anti-BJP slogan at Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan.

28-Year-Old Lois Sofia, an Indian research scholar in Canada, and Ms Soundararajan were coming to Tuticorin in the same flight. Sofia raised the slogan in the plane when the BJP leader, a co-passenger seated in the front row, came near Sofia to take her bag.

Sofia allegedly raised the slogan: “Down with Modi – BJP – RSS fascist government”. She was arrested after the plane landed in Tuticorin and the BJP leader filed a police complaint.

A video recorded after the plane landed shows an agitated Soundararajan asking: “How can she shout like that? This is not a public forum.”

“I suspect there is some extremist organisation behind her,” she said, “She doesn’t appear like an ordinary passenger. I felt my life was under threat.”

Police registered cases against Sofia for creating “public nuisance” and “attempt to cause alarm”. A local court has remanded her to 15 days of judicial custody.

Her father has also filed a police complaint against the Tamil Nadu BJP chief and few others for “criminal intimidation”. However, the police has not yet registered any case against the state BJP chief.

Sofia, a writer and a mathematician, earlier campaigned against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin and the Chennai-Salem eight lane expressway.

The Tamil Nadu government shut down the plant after 13 people were shot dead in police-protester clashes after a one-lakh-strong public march against the plant turned went awry in May.

In a tweet before her arrest, Sofia wrote: “I am on a flight with Tamilisai Soundararajan and really want to shout out ‘Down with Modi – BJP – RSS fascist government’. Will I be kicked off the flight”.

DMK Chief M K Stalin has slammed the police action against her and demanded Sofia’s release. Repeating her slogan in a tweet, Mr Stalin asked: “If you’d put behind bars all those who raise such slogans, how many lakh people would you jail?”

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