Tamil Nadu: Court grants bail to ABVP workers, cadre says they were targeted by the government

The 32 ABVP workers, who were arrested for protesting in front of CM Stalin’s residence, were released from prison on Tuesday (February 22), though the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Egmore granted them bail Monday evening. 

A group of ABVP workers who protested in front of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s residence in Teynampet demanding justice for the Lavanya’s suicide case were remanded to 14 days of judicial custody by Saidapet Magistrate Court. A video that was circulated on social media platforms showed Nidhi, S Susheela and a few others being dragged from the protest site by the local police. 

Out of the 36 activists who participated in the protest, three have been released on account of being minors, while 33 others, including ABVP’s National General Secretary Nidhi Tripathi, Susheela, were sent to Puzhal Jail (women) and Chengalpattu Jail (men).

According to RC Paul Kangaraj, secretary of the BJP Legal Cell, who appeared for the arrested said, “The police initially registered a case under sections 143, 147, 153 (promoting enmity between two groups), 353 of IPC and 3 of the TNPPDL act against them. The police asked for a one day remand. But the magistrate gave them 14 days remand. After hearing the arrest of students, Union minister, top legal luminaries contacted us to help legally and in all possible ways.”

The court then issued bail to 32 students on Monday (February 21), with conditions including surety and appear before the police as and when required.

In a meeting held in Chennai later in the evening, parents appreciated ABVP’s role and said it should not deter from the government’s vindictive and intimidatory attitude and should participate in more protests in the future for the right cause.

Nidhi Tripathi, Muthuramalingam, Hari Krishna, Ashish Chouhan said, “We have been falsely charged with Section 353 IPC – assault on a public servant, which is a non-bailable offence. Our protest was totally peaceful and not even a scratch was made by any of us, as evident in the videos. The DMK government is acting upon a vendetta and targeting students. They have filed false charges on us for participating in the peaceful protest, sending student activists to jail who are raising their voice calls for action. We are prepared to fight the DMK government. Nowhere in the country did students were remanded for 14 days for gathering in front of CM’s residence. Detained students and political cadre would be freed by evening, provided no violence takes place.”

They added, “The police had behaved very badly with the girls. They used abusive and filthy language against and said they would teach us which will make us to think twice before taking part in such protests.” ABVP national secretary Prena Pawar, in the statement, said, “The decision of the Hon’ble court against this authoritarian attitude of the government is going to be far-reaching. ABVP is committed to taking Lavanya’s fight for justice.”

“It was due to CM Stalin’s high ego, autocratic thinking, misused of power and minority appeasement policy, students were remanded to jail illegally. It should be the first and last,” said the cadre in the meeting.

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