Erode (East) bypoll | Three environmental activists taken into preventive custody ahead of CM Stalin’s visit

The police refused permission for a black flag protest earlier citing the model code of conduct currently in force for the by-election to the Erode (East) Assembly constituency scheduled on February 27

Updated - February 26, 2023 04:46 pm IST

Published - February 25, 2023 09:58 am IST - ERODE

Image for representation purpose only. Three activists who threatened a black flag protest were taken into custody.

Image for representation purpose only. Three activists who threatened a black flag protest were taken into custody. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Three environmental activists, who threatened to protest with black flags during Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s visit to Erode on February 25, were taken into preventive custody, here on Friday night.

Activist and coordinator of Tamil Nadu Environmental Protection Movement R.S. Mugilan had sought permission from the district police claiming that the State government had failed to protect the lives of social activists who brought attention to a case of illegal extraction of minerals in Chennimalai.

The activist had alleged that government land at Ekkattampalayam panchayat in Chennimalai Union was encroached upon by the AIADMK’s union secretary, who had extracted minerals worth ₹16 crore, and despite many petitions to revenue officials and the police, no action has been taken so far. Hence, he wanted to organise a black flag protest, democratically, during Mr. Stalin’s visit for the election campaign.

But, citing the model code of conduct (MCC) that is currently in force for the by-election to the Erode (East) Assembly constituency, where polling is scheduled for February 27, police refused permission. However, the activist said that he, along with other activists, would go ahead with their protest near the bus stand on Saturday.

At 10.45 p.m. on Friday, police teams picked up Mugilan, P. Tamil Selvan and Viswanathan, from their residence in Chennimalai. Police sources said that after Mr. Stalin concludes his campaign and leaves Erode by 6 p.m. on Saturday, they would be released.

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