A day after the Tamil Nadu police came down heavily on Sofia Lois, a student who raised a slogan against BJP State President Tamilisai Soundararajan on a private airline, a court in Thoothukudi district has granted her bail.
On Monday morning, the BJP leader and the TN student got into an altercation after the student shouted “BJP’s fascist government down down” as they were about to de-plane. In a video clip that emerged shortly after the plane landed, Tamilisai can be seen losing her cool and confronting the student over her sloganeering.
"When I am taking my bag, a customer shouts 'BJP’s Fascist government down, down'. Is that freedom of speech?" Tamilisai is heard shouting, even as a police officer at the airport tries to pacify her. BJP cadre present along with the leader can be heard yelling at the student and her parents.
In a move that brought condemnation from several quarters, Sofia was then booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 290 (Punishment for public nuisance in cases not otherwise provided for), 505 (Statements Conducing to Public Mischief) in addition to Section 75(1) of the Tamil Nadu City Police Act, 1888.
Following Tamilisai’s written complaint, a trial court in the district remanded Sofia to judicial custody for a period of 15 days.
Speaking to TNM, Tamilisai justified filing a complaint, alleging that Sofia’s background, the words she used, and the way she raised slogans were suspicious, and it didn’t feel like an ordinary passenger’s behaviour.
Late on Monday evening, Sofia was taken ill and admitted to the Thoothukudi General Hospital following complaints of severe stomach pain.
However, no action has been forthcoming on the complaint filed by Dr AA Samy, Sofia’s father.
In his complaint, AA Samy said that his wife, his daughter and he were travelling from Chennai to Thoothukudi in the same flight as Tamilisai and that his daughter raised slogans in the flight while getting down. He also stated that Tamilisai did not say anything inside the flight and that the issue began after they reached the baggage area.