The Chennai police on Thursday arrested May 17 Movement co-ordinator Thirumurugan Gandhi in Bengaluru International Airport on charges of sedition.
He has been actively campaigning against the 8-lane Chennai Salem Green Corridor project and the police firing in Thoothukudi over the Sterlite stir recently. The city police has registered 22 cases against him for having conducted agitations, processions and candle light vigil in Marina beach in violation of regulatory orders.
According to sources, he flagged the Thoothukudi firing in the United Nations Human Rights Council a few days ago. He was returning to the country after attending the council meeting and landed in Bengaluru this morning. His outfit had reportedly organised a programme in Bengaluru to highlight the human rights violation in the police firing in Thoothukudi.
According to police sources, a case has been registered by Tamil Nadu police under Section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (1) and 153 (b) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc) of the IPC. A look out circular was issued against him recently. Following this, immigration authorities detained him at the airport and handed him over to the airport police in Bengaluru, before the Chennai Police took charge.
The Chennai City Police is likely to bring him here and will produce him before a Magistrate Court for remand.
Our earlier report from Bengaluru bureau
Thirumurugan Gandhi was travelling back from a recent visit to Europe, where he addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva where he spoke about the recent protests against the Sterlite plant in Tuticorin,in which 13 people lost their lives in police firing. He was en route to Chennai city.
DCP North-east confirmed the arrest and said Mr. Gandhi is in airport custody and would be handed over to Chennai police