A 23-year-old woman who was earlier arrested in April while she was travelling to Neduvasal, has now been charged with Goondas Act for distributing pamphlets to students and asking them to support the Neduvasal protests.
She was shifted from Salem’s women’s Prison to Coimbatore Central Prison on Monday.
The Salem police arrested two women including Valarmathi who is a first-year MA student from Periyar University on July 12. The two women were allegedly distributing pamphlets to students of Government Women’s College at Gorimedu, asking them to support the protest against Neduvasal project.
The New Indian Express reported that the Salem City (North) Assistant and Commissioner Ramasamy and Deputy Commissioner (Law and Order) G Subbulakshmi issued orders to charge Valarmathi under the Goondas Act. She was provided with the order copy at the Coimbatore prison.
Following investigation, police found that Valarmathi has been an activist, who keeps organising student protests and has participated in various agitations including the Neduvasala and Kathiramangalam protests. Moreover, six cases were pending against her.
In April, two women including Valarmathi, belonging to a seven-member student group that were heading to Neduvasal in Pudukottai district from Coimbatore, as part of their campaign in support of farmers, were not only arrested but were allegedly stripped several times by the police under the pretext of a search.
All of them belonged to Students Uprising Movement for Social Awareness (SUMS) and have been campaigning against the Neduvasal hydrocarbon project and in support of farmers protesting in Delhi. They were arrested near Karur while they were travelling to Neduvasal.
However, police had claimed then that the seven students had links with Maoists and that they were instigating violence among the general public.