Eight people from All India Forward Bloc, including the President of the former Bharatiya Forward Bloc, KA Murugan, were arrested in Madurai Airport on Saturday for raising slogans inside a flight. According to reports, the incident happened on an IndiGo flight from Chennai to Madurai. As the descent was announced, Murugan and a few others got up from their seats and started raising slogans. They were demanding that the Madurai airport be renamed after Muthuramalinga Thevar. Despite multiple requests from the flight crew, the group did not lower their voices. Hence the crew intimated the airport about it and the men were arrested after the flight landed in Madurai.
Confirming the arrest, a police officer from Perungudi police station in Madurai told TNM that an FIR has been registered against eight men under sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 290 (Public nuisance), 341 (Wrongful restraint), 342 (Wrongful confinement), 153A (doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 505(1)(b) (with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility) of the IPC. The police officer said that the accused were part of All India Forward Bloc.
Bharatiya Forward Bloc was a political party in Tamil Nadu which merged with the All India Forward Bloc before the 2006 elections, and KA Murugan and the other arrested men were all part of Bharatiya Forward Bloc.
The demand for the Madurai airport to be named after Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar is a longstanding one. Various political parties have asked for the central government to consider the demand in the past, for which the union government had also replied that the matter would be considered if the state government passes a resolution in the Assembly recommending the same.
Various Thevar outfits including All India Forward Bloc had called for a bandh in February, asking for their demand to be met.