The CB-CID on Sunday, arrested activist RS Mugilan in connection with a rape case registered against him in Karur district. The activist who went missing nearly five months ago, was handed over by the Tirupati police to the Tamil Nadu CB-CID on Saturday. He is yet to reveal any details regarding his whereabouts during this period, says the police.
According to reports, in April, a woman from Namakkal district alleged that the activist had sexually exploited her in 2017. The 37-year-old approached the Kulithalai all-women police station in Karur district and complained that Mugilan allegedly forced her to have sex with him after falsely promising that they would get married. She allegedly was closely associated with him as she was part of protests he participated in.
In the complaint that she submitted two months after the activist's disappearance, the woman stated that the alleged incident took place in February 2017, during a protest at Neduvasal in Pudukottai district against the hydrocarbon project. She allegedly stayed in a lodge with him and complained that she had been sexually exploited on multiple occasions. She further urged the police to take action against him.
Mugilan, who is also the Coordinator of Tamil Nadu Environment Protection Movement, was travelling from the Egmore railway station in Chennai to Madurai in a special train on the night of February 15, after he held a press meet in Chennai about the shooting of 13 civilians during the anti-Sterlite protests. In the press meet, Mugilan named two senior police officers and accused them of being complicit when miscreants torched government vehicles and destroyed CCTV cameras.
His disappearance prompted a months-long social media campaign asking with the hashtag #WhereIsMugilan with demonstrations in the USA and Australia. Politicians from the state had demonstrated against his disappearance, even as human rights NGO Amnesty International urged the authorities to investigate his disappearance.
He was finally spotted at a railway station in Andhra Pradesh at the Tirupati railway station on Platform No 1, at around 10 30 am on Saturday. According to the CB CID, a passenger had jumped onto the tracks and was shouting slogans against the TN state govt and the Centre. After much difficulty he was removed from the tracks and taken to the RPF police station. He then identified himself as Mugilan. Mugilan was later brought to the Vellore station by the Andhra Pradesh based RPF. According to the CB CID, they got in touch with the Andhra police and requested custody.