Activist Thirumurugan Gandhi was released on bail on Tuesday, 53 days after he was booked under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and sent to prison. He was freed at 5 pm after a court in Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram district ordered his release from Vellore Central Jail.
On September 17, a court in Chennai passed an order against remanding the activist Thirumurugan under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Gandhi, 42, is the coordinator of a prominent civil rights group called the May 17 Movement. He was arrested at the Bengaluru airport on August 9 on his return from Geneva, where he had spoken at a United Nations Human Rights Council session about the police firing during the anti-Sterlite protests in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district. He was charged with sedition and with promoting enmity between different groups.
The police said Gandhi had expressed solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle and had spoken in support of the Tamil Eelam – a proposed independent state for Tamils in Sri Lanka – at a meeting in 2014.
In jail, he was not allowed to interact with other prisoners. He was hospitalised on September 24 as his health deteriorated.
“There were nearly 16 cases filed against him,” Lena Kumar, another coordinator of the May 17 Movement, told Scroll.in. “In the last 53 days, we have managed to get bail for at least 14 cases registered against Thirumurgan Gandhi. He got bail for the 14th case filed against him today.”