A 28-year-old research scholar of Canada, Lois Sofia, arrested at the Tuticorin airport on Monday for shouting “fascist BJP government down down” on a flight, in the presence of Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan, has been released on bail.
The arrest had led to intense outrage against the police and the AIADMK government. Reacting to the arrest, DMK chief MK Stalin accused the Tamil Nadu government of stifling the right to free speech.
Targeting the AIADMK-led government in the state, Stalin also said that if it was going to imprison people voicing dissent, then he would repeat Sofia’s slogan. “The Tamil Nadu government’s anti-democratic actions, against the right to free speech, are highly condemnable. She must be released immediately. How many people will be imprisoned if you arrest everyone who says that? I will also say it. ‘BJP’s fascist government down, down’,” Stalin tweeted.
News agency ANI reported that BJP Tamil Nadu President Tamilisai Soundararajan got into an argument with a co-passenger at Tuticorin airport. The passenger who was detained had allegedly raised ‘Fascist BJP Govt down down’ slogan.
Sofia allegedly shouted the slogan when Soundararajan, seated in the front row, came near her to take her bag. Enraged by this, Tamilisai Soundararajan engaged in a verbal fight with the student and later with the police who were stationed in the airport and had tried to calm her down.
A video recorded at the airport shows the BJP leader asking angrily: “How can she shout like that? This is not a public forum.”
“When I am taking my bag, a customer shouts ‘BJP’s Fascist government down down’. Is that freedom of speech?” she is seen asking in the clip.
Soundararajan said later to reporters: “She was not an ordinary passenger, I suspect some extremist organization behind her.”
Sofia, who was travelling with her parents, was taken into custody after the BJP leader filed a complaint with the airport police.
Sofia was charged under IPC Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 290 (public nuisance) and Section 75 of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act and the case was being handled by the All Women Police Station at Tuticorin.
A Thoothukudi court Tuesday granted bail to Lois Sofia, a 28-year-old studying in Canada, a day after her arrest at Tuticorin airport.
Sofia’s father Dr AA Sami, a retired government doctor, said the incident took place when the flight landed at Tuticorin.
Sami, the student’s father has also filed a police complaint against the Tamil Nadu BJP chief and a few others for “criminal intimidation”. That case has not been registered by the police yet.
Sami says he and his wife had received their daughter at the Chennai airport and were flying with her to Tuticorin. When they arrived at Tuticorin, he says, his daughter was surrounded by men and abuses were thrown at her. The family was reportedly kept in a room for safety.
“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.”
“For more than 8 hours, police kept my daughter in station for inquiry. She didn’t use any derogatory remarks about Tamilisai or anyone. She just said “Fascist BJP Down down”, which is purely freedom of expression. Now, I have lodged complaint against Tamilisai and others for threatening us. So far, no action has been taken,” he said, according to media reports.
Sofia, a writer and a mathematician, had earlier participated in campaigns against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin and the Chennai-Salem eight lane expressway, said media reports.
In a tweet before her arrest, Sofia had posted: “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?”
Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat operators prevents major accident, notices stones, rods on tracks, hit emergency brakes
Giving the details about the train and the incident, the CRPO said, KM 158/18, 158/19 on the Gangarar-Soniyana section were the stopping points for Train No. 20979 Vande Bharat Udaipur-Jaipur.
On Monday at Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, train operators of the Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat Express noticed stones and iron rods on the railroad track and quickly stopped the train using emergency brakes.
The Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of North Western Railway confirmed the incident and said that the RPF has opened a complaint under the Railways Act after personnel inspected the scene in the Gangarar-Soniyana section.
Giving the details about the train and the incident, the CRPO said, KM 158/18, 158/19 on the Gangarar-Soniyana section were the stopping points for Train No. 20979 Vande Bharat Udaipur-Jaipur. Two rods, each measuring one foot, were inserted into the joggle plate on the previously mentioned km, together with some ballast, which caused the standstill, he added.
The incident took place under the control of RPF/post/Bhilwara at about 09:55. The area is governed by SHO/Gangarar in the Chittaurgarh district, according to the CPRO.
DSC/Ajmer, IPF/Bhilwara, PWI/Gangarar, local Police, and GRP authorities all paid the location a visit. SP/Chittaurgarh has been informed by DSC/Ajmer. RPF has filed a lawsuit in accordance with the Railways Act. The PWI/Gangarar is also providing SHO/Gangarar with a FIR, the official continued.
Meanwhile, stones, rail fasteners and iron rods are seen being laid on the railway tracks in a video that is going popular on X, formerly Twitter.
Fortunately, the alert loco pilots on duty quickly identified the impediment and took prompt action by deploying emergency brakes, averting any potential disaster. Their quick action likely saved lives and made sure that everyone on board was safe.
The District Police and the Railway Protection Force are both aggressively looking into this worrying situation. Their efforts are concentrated on finding individuals accountable for putting lives at danger and interfering with railway operations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Udaipur-Jaipur Vande Bharat Express last month, which runs six days a week, except Tuesday. It departs from Udaipur city at 7:50 in the morning and gets to Jaipur at 14:05.
Karnataka Eid clash: 43 persons arrested in Karnataka’s Shivamogga district
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government is not going to tolerate people throwing stones on religious processions of other religions.
Tension gripped Karnataka’s Shivamogga district as two groups clashed during Eid e Milad un Nabi processions near Ragigudda. 43 persons have been arrested in the clashes on Monday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government is not going to tolerate people throwing stones on religious processions of other religions.
Section 144 has been imposed Ragigudda by the Shivmogga district administration. CM Siddaramaiah said the situation is currently under control. The police has arrested 43 persons. He added it is wrong to pelt stones to disturb the religious procession of others. He said the government is not going to tolerate such actions.
Milad un Nabi processions is usually marked by large gathering and celebrations. The procession was halted due to the chaos. The police said the protestors tried to breach the barricades set by the security forces. The police forces had to resort to a lathi charge in order to disperse the crowd. About five people were injured during the clashes.
Senior police officials said the situation was under control and the issue had been resolved. They appealed to the people to maintain peace and not spread rumours. Siddaramaiah said cases were being booked against those found guilty as pelting stones at another religious procession is against the law.
Siddaramaiah added Shivamogga city has been brought to normalcy again. All possible actions are being taken by the police force. The situation continues to be tense all over the city of shivamogga. The security arrangements have been tightened. The shops and the market has been asked to close down.
2500 policemen, two platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), two platoons of rapid action force and 12 platoons of District Armed Reserve have been stationed across the city to thwart any untoward incident. The murder of Harsha, the Bajrang Dal activist which made national news had taken place in shivamogga city in February 2022.
Lal Bahadur Shastri Jayanti 2023: History, Date and Significance
Shastri was a freedom fighter and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. He played an important role in India’s independence movement.
On 2nd October 2023, India also celebrates the birth anniversary of another great leader, Lal Bahadur Shastri. The day holds special significance as India remembers the legacy and life of the man who served as India’s second Prime Minister. Lal bahadur Shastri was born on October 2, 1904 in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh. He is a symbol of dedication and selfless service to the nation.
Shastri was a freedom fighter and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. He played an important role in India’s independence movement. He was sent to the prison several times by the British government. After India got its independence in the year 1947 he served in many important ministerial positions in the government of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Lal Bahadur Shastri was born into a lower middle class family. His father’s name was Sharda Prasad Srivastava who was also a teacher. Ram Dulari Devi was a house wife. He was born with the name Lal Bahadur Srivastava. He earned the title Shastri due to his academic excellence. He was commited to education during his entire life. He went on to become not only a leader but also an academic and an activist.
Lal Bahadur Shastri showed unwavering dedication to the Indian National Congress political party. He served as the second Prime Minister of India from 1964 until his death in 1966. His tenure as Prime Minister marked a significant progress and change in India.
He held many important positions which included Minister of External Affairs and Railways. His tenure had many notable achievements which included signing of the Tashkent Agreement. The Tashkent aimed to ease tensions between India and Pakistan.
This diplomatic respect earned him respect on the global arena. Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the slogan Jai Jawan Jai Kisan which means hail the soldier and hail the Farmer. The slogan means emphasizes on the vital contributions of farmers and soldiers to the country’s prosperity.