Thirumurugan Gandhi, activist and coordinator of the May 17 Movement, was released from Vellore Central prison on Tuesday after 53 days of imprisonment. He was arrested from the Bengaluru airport on August 9, following a lookout notice that the Tamil Nadu police had issued. The activist has had several cases slapped against him, including one of sedition for protesting against the Chennai-Salem Green corridor and Vedantaâ€™s Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi.
The activistâ€™s lawyer C Arun Kumar told The Times of India that the activist had to travel 9,200 kms in connection with the various cases slapped against him in different districts of the State.
After his release, Thirumurugan was welcomed to a warm reception by his supporters and the SDPI cadre outside the Vellore prison. He also garlanded a Periyar statue in the locality.
Addressing the media after his release, the activist alleged that the TN government was influenced by the Central government and was executing â€śan anti-people rule by suppressing democracyâ€ť.
He also added that the May 17 Movement was ready to face any situation to bring a democratic rule in the state and that it is a transparent movement reflecting the anger and anxieties of the Tamil people.
Thirumurugan Gandhi was first detained in Bengaluru after returning from his Europe trip, where he went to attend the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Although, he was later set free by the magistrate, which had refused to remand him in judicial custody.
However, within hours of his release, the Chennai police arrested the activist for an earlier case as he was coming out from the Old Police Commissionerâ€™s office on August 10.
In September 2017, Thirumurugan Gandhi was detained under the Goondas Act for attempting to stage a protest at the Marina Beach in memory of Tamils, who were killed in Sri Lanka. He has also been vocal against the proposed Salem-Chennai Green Corridor and the Thoothukudi firings.