Chengam police detained the team in nearby Eraiyur even before they could meet the farmers. They were held back in a marriage hall and told to go back.
However, Yadav took exceptions and in a written reply contested the claims of the police and said, “The police are abusing their authority despite the Madras High Court explicitly ordering the administration not to dispossess farmers of their assets.”
He tweeted that he was “manhandled” and pushed into a police van. “We came on the invitation of Movement Against 8Lane Way. We were prevented from going to meet farmers, phones snatched, manhandled and pushed into police van. Firsthand experience of police state in TN,” he said.
Stating that there was nothing wrong in meeting farmers, he said he did not plan on any agitation on the issue.
When asked about the detention, Collector KS Kandasamy said, “We asked him why he had come to the area without being invited by any farmer. We also told him that his visit may disrupt peace in the area and informed him that he can come back after the date for hearing objections is announced. He was released.”
However, the Collector warned, “If he violates our trust and goes back to visit farmers in the villages then we will be forced to take necessary measures to safeguard peace.”
DMK condemns arrest
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition MK Stalin condemned the arrest of Yogendra Yadav for supporting farmers affected by Chennai - Salem Expressway. Condemning the arrest, Stalin tweeted, “The DMK strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of @_SwarajIndia chief @_Yogendra Yadav who supported farmers affected by #ChennaiSalemExrpressway project. The intolerant AIADMK will pay the price for denying people the right to dissent and protest.”