A research scholar who was arrested for allegedly shouting "down with Modi, BJP-RSS fascist government" at Tuticorin airport on a flight in the presence of a state BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan on Monday, has been granted bail. Twenty-eight-year-old Lois Sofia was arrested after Soundararajan’s complaint against her. "She was not an ordinary passenger, I suspect some extremist organization behind her," the Tamil Nadu BJP president had said.
Sofia, a research scholar in Canada and BJP’s Soundararajan were on the same flight to Tuticorin. Sofia had allegedly shouted the slogans against the Narendra Modi government in front of the BJP leader. Miffed with the anti-Modi slogans, Soundararajan filed a complaint with the airport police.
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Following the BJP leader’s complaint, the student was arrested by the police and charged with creating "public nuisance" and "attempt to cause alarm".
#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's father AA Sami has also filed a counter FIR against the Tamil Nadu BJP president and others for "criminal intimidation". However, the police have not yet registered any case against her.
Sami and his wife were also travelling with their daughter from Chennai to Tuticorin. They said when arrived at the airport, her daughter was surrounded by several people who then abused her as well.
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Condemning the police action, DMK chief MK Stalin said that he would also shout the slogan and asked, “If you'd put behind bars all those who raise such slogans, how many lakh people would you jail?"
The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is often accused of crushing the dissent. Recently, the Supreme Court while hearing the case of controversial arrests of five Left-leaning activists, had observed that "dissent is a safety valve for democracy. If you don’t allow this safety valve, then the pressure cooker will burst."