The Chennai Police on Saturday arrested former Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad President Dr Subbiah Shanmugam in connection with the harassment of an elderly woman in 2020. He has been remanded till March 31 by a judicial magistrate, according to The News Minute.

A 60-year-old woman in Chennai had accused Shanmugam of urinating at her doorstep, throwing used face masks and garbage after a disagreement over parking slots at a housing society in the Nanganallur area of the city.

In a complaint dated July 11, 2020, the woman had submitted a video clip that purportedly showed Shanmugam throwing garbage and urinating at her door.

The ABVP leader had denied all allegations and claimed that the video had been doctored. He had admitted that he temporarily used the woman’s parking space, but claimed that he found another area later.

The first information report in the case was filed two weeks after the woman had submitted her complaint, according to The News Minute. Shanmugam was booked under Section 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule) and Section 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code and under the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Women Harassment Act.

Hours after the case was registered, the woman’s family had alleged that they were coerced to withdraw it. Days later, the ABVP had said the family had withdrawn their complaint.

The police on Sunday said that despite the withdrawal of the complaint, the women’s family pursued the case since an FIR was registered.

Senior police officers told The Indian Express that Shanmugam’s arrest was based on the same FIR that the then All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government did not investigate.

Meanwhile, the women’s family alleged they were receiving “subtle threats” from the functionaries of the ABVP, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh after the arrest of Shanmugam, according to The News Minute.

The ABVP said the arrest was an act of vengeance of the MK Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government.

ABVP National General Secretary Nidhi Tripathi in a statement linked Shanmugam’s arrest to the alleged suicide of a 17-year-old girl in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district, The News Minute reported.

“Such actions will not deter our commitment to fight...against forceful conversions in educational institutions will continue with stronger spirit,” Tripathi said.

In October 2020, Shanmugam was appointed as a board member of the upcoming All India Institute of Medical Sciences project at Thoppur. The move was widely criticised by politicians in Tamil Nadu.