A court in Chennai on Monday passed an order against remanding activist Thirumurugan Gandhi under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, observing that there was no ground to do the same. The activist will now be remanded under Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with statements conducing public mischief.
Gandhi, 42, is the coordinator of the May 17 Movement, a prominent civil rights group. He was booked under UAPA last month after he expressed solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and in support of the Tamil Ealam at a meeting in 2014.
Last month, Gandhi was arrested at the Bengaluru airport after returning from Geneva, where he had spoken at a United Nations Human Rights Council session about the police firing on the May 22 protest in Thoothukudi. He was charged under section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (1) and 153 (b) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc) of the Indian Penal Code, reported The Hindu.
At least 13 people had died in police firing during protests against the plant in May, after which the Tamil Nadu government shut it down.
Gandhi has also been campaigning against the eight-lane Chennai Salem Green Corridor project. The Chennai Police has registered 30 cases against him for organising agitations, processions, and a candle-light vigil at the Marina Beach in violation of regulatory orders.