The chief coordinator of the Anti-Methane Project Movement, T Jayaraman, was booked for sedition for writing a book against river-linking, The News Minute reported on Monday. The case was filed against him on Sunday at Mayiladuthurai police station under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code for speaking against the sovereignty and national integration.
Jayaraman was arrested along with eight others in July for participating in protests against the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s oil extraction in Kathiramangalam. During the 42 days that he spent at the Tiruchirapalli Central Prison, the activist wrote the book Nadhigal Inaippum Aarugalai Pidingi Virkkum India, reported The News Minute.
The Centre has plans to connect 37 Himalayan and peninsular rivers. According to the plan, rivers with surplus water will be dammed, while the flow will be diverted to those rivers that need more water. Ecologists have warned that the project is dangerous. Moreover, half a million people are likely to be displaced in the process.
“My book argues that this ambitious project will not work and is merely deception on the part of the government to take away water bodies from the people and allow corporations to control them,” Jayaraman told The News Minute. “A project of this magnitude will involve some of the biggest multinational companies and once it is done, do you think they will give us free access to water?”
The case against him was filed after he organised a book launch event in Mayiladuthurai on October 22. He said the sedition case was against the freedom of expression. “Are we not allowed to write against government schemes anymore? The Centre can’t take criticism and the state has forgotten its people and is pandering to pressure from the BJP government,” he said.