Wistron iPhone factory violence: SFI leader Srikanth released after questioning

SFI leaders that TNM spoke to said that Srikanth was not present at Wistron when the vandalism took place.
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The Kolar police had detained Srikanth, the taluk president of Students' Federation of India (SFI), in connection with the vandalism at Wistron's iPhone manufactory. However, he was released after questioning on Friday. The Kolar Police had detained Srikanth after BJP MP from Kolar, S Muniswamy, had accused members of the SFI of taking part in the vandalism at the factory. He had also accused SFI members of planning the violence.

On Thursday, the Kolar Police detained Srikanth based on a WhatsApp message that was circulated, which claimed that SFI activists and workers of Wistron were to hold a protest outside the Kolar Collector's office on December 12 at 11 am. Speaking to TNM, Vasudeva Reddy, State Secretary of SFI, said that the police released Srikanth as they did not find any evidence against him. "There was a message circulated about a protest outside the Deputy Commissioner's office. There were no SFI people at Wistron when the violence occurred. The police accused Srikanth of being at the factory but he was not there at all. Let them check call record details," Vasudeva Reddy said. He alleged that Srikanth's detainment was politically motivated.

"We took him into custody for questioning based on information we received. Whether he was at Wistron's plant or nor on December 12 is irrelevant as this was related to planning the protest. We have taken his statement and released him," Inspector General of Police, Central Range, Seemanth Kumar Singh said.   

On Wednesday, Kolar MP Muniswamy had alleged that SFI activists had held multiple meetings with employees of Wistron and that they had planned the protest in advance. "SFI people had conducted meetings to protest against Wistron. We have evidence and have given it to the police. There are also WhatsApp messages on the protest plan. Workers should speak to the department if they have problems. Even if they protest, it should be peaceful. We are giving full support to the company. PM also looked into it. Investigation is going on," Muniswamy said.

Rubbishing Muniswamy's statement, Vasudeva Reddy said that Muniswamy was trying to place the blame on SFI when none of their cadres did "anything wrong". "Muniswamy said that outsiders created the ruckus at Wistron. "This is a politically provocative statement as SFI and BJP have had differences in Kolar. The police did not find any evidence against Srikanth, which is why he was released.  We are going to pursue legal action against Muniswamy for defaming Srikanth, who has done nothing wrong," he added. 

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