Police searching for Mugilan as rape accused

Probe shows he was active on Facebook till he went missing

Updated - May 29, 2019 07:52 am IST

Published - May 29, 2019 01:36 am IST - CHENNAI

Activist R.S. Mugilan

Activist R.S. Mugilan

More than 100 days after an environmental activist T Mugilan alias Shanmugam went missing soon after holding a press conference in Chennai on February 15, exposing the alleged role of the police in the violence during the anti-Sterlite protest, the Crime Branch CID is looking for him “as an accused” in a rape case.

The activist disappeared under mysterious circumstances after boarding a train from Chennai Egmore to Madurai.

Since he was actively involved in protests against the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam, illegal sand mining in southern districts, the hydrocarbon project in Neduvasal and Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi, political parties and rights activists were apprehensive about his safety, forcing the Tamil Nadu government to transfer the case to the CB-CID.


Meanwhile, a woman lodged a complaint with the Kulithalai police in Karur district claiming that Mr. Mugilan cheated and raped her. A case under Section 376 rape) 417 (cheating) of the IPC and Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Woman Harassment Act was registered against the activist.

Boarded train

The CB-CID probe has not only confirmed that Mugilan boarded a train to Madurai on the night of February 15 from Chennai Egmore railway station but was active on Facebook and mobile phone along the route of the train till his abrupt disappearance.

“Since one of the CCTV cameras showed him exiting the railway station, there was a doubt whether he walked out. But a perusal of other cameras revealed that he came back to board the train. He was active on his mobile phone till around midnight, after which his location is not known,” a CB-CID official told The Hindu .

Special teams found no clue after analysing the video footage recorded at other railway stations en route to Madurai. “He simply disappeared. We are looking for Mr. Mugilan more as an accused wanted in a rape case than as a missing person. A 37-year-old woman has lodged a complaint that he raped her after promising to marry her. The photograph of the suspect has been passed on to railway and local police across the State,” the officer said.

“It is possible that Mr. Mugilan could have deliberately vanished since the complainant (who accused him of rape) told the police that he had once told her the best way to evade police was to switch off and go under cover to remote locations,” the officer added.

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