Student arrested for shouting anti-BJP slogans in TN

Lois had earlier participated in campaigns against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin and the Chennai-Salem eight lane expressway. DMK President MK Stalin condemned the arrest and demanded her immediate release.

lois sofia
Lois Sofia was sent to judicial custody for 15 days after she shouted “fascist BJP government down, down”.
Tuticorin: A research student from Canada was arrested for shouting slogans against BJP government at Tuticorin airport in Tamil Nadu with the complainant accusing her of belonging to a terror outfit.
28-year-old Sofia Lois, a mathematics and physics student from the University of Montreal, Canada, was travelling on the same flight as TN BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan. In a now unavailable tweet right before her arrest, she had asked ‘I am on a flight with Tamilisai Soundararajan and really want to shout out ‘Down with Modi – BJP – RSS fascist government’. Will I be kicked off the flight?’ It is not clear whether the incident took place during deboarding or baggage collection but Lois raised anti- BJP slogans against Soundarajan.
According to the police, enraged by this, Soundararajan got into an argument with the student and later with the airport police that was trying to diffuse the situation.


“When I am taking my bag, a customer shouts ‘BJP Fascist government down down’. Is that freedom of speech?” she is seen asking in the clip. The leader has also allegedly lodged a complaint with the Pudukkottai police station about the incident after which the police have detained Sofia Lois for questioning. After filing the complaint against Sofia in the airport, Tamilisai met the reporters and said that Sofia could belong to some terror outfit by seeing the way she behaved. “She did not look like a normal person. I am not scared or worried because of her. The other passengers inside the flight should not be affected by her, that is why I responded. In a public place people can shout, but nobody has the right to shout inside an aircraft,” she said in a report by The News Minute.
Athisiya Kumar, Advocate for Sofia Lois spoke to TNM and said that the BJP leader could have handled the issue in a better manner. “She (Tamilisai) is a good doctor, a senior leader. Couldn’t she have just spoken to her? Instead of shaming her in public. She (Sofia Lois) is just a student. It’s so common to do this in Canada. We don’t have that freedom in India. Instead of advising her, she has insulted her. She also instigated her cadres who have been even more vulgar,” he alleged.
An FIR has been filed against Sofia under Indian Penal Code Sections 290(Punishment for public nuisance in cases not otherwise provided for), 505(Statements Conducing to Public Mischief) as well as Section 75(1) of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act, 1888.
Lois has been sent to 15-day judicial custody but it hasn’t fazed her parents. Sofia’s father Dr A A Sami, a retired government doctor, said the incident took place when the flight landed at Tuticorin.
“My wife Madhuri and I received our daughter at Chennai airport and we were flying from Chennai. After we landed at Tuticorin, she (Sofia) saw the BJP leader and said ‘fascist BJP government down, down’. She didn’t utter a word other than that. But when we reached the terminal, Tamilisai and some 10 men who received her at the airport surrounded us and bullied my daughter with abusive words. They issued death threats. Finally, the airport police came to our help and secured us in a room,” reported Indian Express.
“After this incident, Tamilisai filed a complaint. Later, we learnt from police that there was a complaint. They asked us to come to the police station, promising that we will get bail there itself. But there were calls from higher ups and now they are trying to put her in prison,” the 65-year-old said in the report.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tamilisai said “the young and seemingly innocent girl” raised the slogan against the BJP government. “I was on Seat No. 3 and she was on Seat No. 8. When I was coming out after the flight landed, she saw me and suddenly shouted ‘down with fascist BJP government’. When I turned to her, she repeated it. Seeing a very young girl sitting with her parents, I thought I will ignore it. But she repeated it, again and again, when I was coming out of the aircraft. She was also passing some comments at me,” Tamilisai said.
“Asked about the complaint against her men for threatening Sofia, Tamilisai said there were karyakartas who were waiting to receive her in the reception area. “As there was an argument, they also questioned her. I was upset over the way she blamed my government. At one point, she claimed that her slogan was against the BJP government, not me. But wasn’t she only targeting me when I was on board the flight? I argued with her, even police had to step in and pacify me. I told them I cannot ignore it if my government is questioned in such a way,” Tamilisai said in the report.
“In the evening, I got reports that all those people who were behind the Sterlite protests (in Tuticorin) have come to support her at the police station. I also have information that she is connected to some groups in Canada,” Tamilisai said in the report.
It is said that Lois had earlier participated in campaigns against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin and the Chennai-Salem eight lane expressway.
“Sami said he wasn’t bothered by such remarks about his daughter. “When there is a hazardous industry polluting the land, people will oppose it. Let them call whatever names they want, I don’t bother about that. In the past, she had written articles about the Sterlite issue as she believes in writing. Writing is her hobby even if her research area is Mathematics and Physics,” he said in the report.
DMK President MK Stalin condemned her arrest and demanded her immediate release. He added that the Lois’ arrest was against freedom of speech.
“If the police were to arrest people who criticise the BJP government, how many lakhs of people will they arrest? I will also repeat it. BJP fascist government down down,” he wrote on Twitter.

The incident seems ironic as the PMO handle on Twitter had posted this in April.




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