The detention of six of seven persons, who had protested against land acquisition for SIPCOT in Tiruvannamalai district earlier this month, under the Goondas Act was revoked on Friday on the instructions of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
According to an official release, the Chief Minister’s instructions followed representations from the family members of the six persons — Pachaiyappan, Devan, Chozhan, Thirumal, Masilamani, and Backiaraj.
When the State government attempted to acquire about 3,174 acres of land (notification issued for 1,200 acre), 239 landowners opposed the move. Pachaiyappan led the farmers’ protest against the acquisition from July 2 this year, and about 15-20 persons staged a continuous protest. A total of 20 persons, including Arul of Krishnagiri, were arrested on November 4 on various charges, including obstructing a public servant from discharging his/her functions, disturbing public order by frequently indulging in road blocks, preventing people from voluntarily selling land to government, and damaging public assets. They were remanded in judicial custody.
On the recommendations of the Tiruvannamalai Superintendent of Police, Mr. Arul and six persons, who were facing several cases, were detained under the Goondas Act. The family members of the six persons met the Cheyyar MLA on Friday and pleaded for their release, assuring that they would not indulge in such activities any more. The legislator requested Minister for Public Works E.V. Velu to represent their case.
The Minister had assured that their plea would be taken to the notice of the Chief Minister, and the detention was revoked.