Student activist Valarmathi charged with promoting enmity for ‘inflammatory’ speech

She is in Salem Central prison after being arrested for disrupting government officials during a meeting with the villagers for the proposed Chennai-Salem highway.
Student activist Valarmathi charged with promoting enmity for ‘inflammatory’ speech
Student activist Valarmathi charged with promoting enmity for ‘inflammatory’ speech

Student activist S Valarmathi has been charged with promoting enmity between groups by the Chennai City police for her provocative speech against the Tamil Nadu government.

S Valarmathi, a journalism student and an activist, has been lodged in the Salem Central prison after she was arrested last week for protesting against the Chennai- Salem Green Expressway corridor project. The latest charges have been filed on her for her speech in an event conducted in Vadapalani, Chennai.

Speaking to TNM the Inspector of Police, said, “We have booked her for a speech she made at RKV studios in Vadapalani in January this year. She was inciting people to riot and be violent towards the police. We have booked her under section 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot). She has already been arrested over a speech made in Salem against the expressway."

Valarmathi was arrested last week for attempting to disrupt a meeting of district administration with the people of Achankuttapatti in relation to the Chennai- Salem Green Expressway corridor, reported The Hindu.

Valarmathi is the second activist who was arrested for opposing the project. Environmental activist Piyush Manush was arrested on June 18 for instigating people against developmental projects. He was charged with section 153a (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 505(1)(b) (intent to cause harm, fear or alarm to the public; inducing a person to commit an offence against the State or against public tranquility) of the IPC.

A day before Piyush Manush was arrested, actor Mansoor Ali Khan was arrested for his remarks against the proposed highway project. It has been reported that he has been granted bail by a court in Salem early on Thursday.

The proposed Green corridor has been receiving heavy backlash from the people who stand to lose their lands to the project. Recently a family of four tried to immolate themselves when officers from the district administration came to measure their lands for the project.

The crackdown by the Tamil Nadu government on anybody who speaks against the project has also been criticised by leaders of the opposition parties.

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