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Forum raps use of Goondas Act on students

Voicing concern over mechanical invocation of Goondas Act against students, activists, and protesting villagers, Ilanthamizhagam Iyakkam (Young Tamil Nadu Movement) – a political outfit of techies’ collective from the City urged the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to secure their release.

Forum raps use of Goondas Act on students
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Chennai

“Many projects like Methane extraction, Hydrocarbon extraction, nuclear plants, oil extraction, etc., that destroy the fertility of the land and livelihood of people are being implemented recently, against people’s will. People from affected areas are arrested under non-bailable Goondas Act for raising their voice against such projects,” a communique to the SHRC read. 

The outfit observed that a 23-year-old girl student Valarmathi from Salem was arrested on July 12 for distributing pamphlets at the Government College for Women against implementation of Hydrocarbon project. A few days later, she was served notice of being detained under the Goondas Act. 

On May 21, Thirumurugan Gandhi (May 17 Movement), Dyson, Ilamaran and Arun were arrested and detained under goondas for observing candle light vigil on the Marina Beach commemorating ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ in Sri Lanka in 2009. 

In a similar fashion, Professor Jayaraman, Viduthalai Sutar, Dharmarasan, Senthil, Murugan, Samynathan, Ramesh, Silambarasan, and Santhosh were arrested in June when they went to take stock of the ground situation in Kathiramangalam following a pipeline burst near one of the oil wells. 

The detention of students, social activists and villagers who protest peacefully, under Goondas Act, amounts to clear case of violation of human rights. Therefore, we request the state and SHRC to revoke the detention and to drop all the foisted cases against students, activists, and villagers”, the outfit observed. 

False cases against activists 

Activist Traffic Ramasamy said that false cases will not deter activists from fighting for justice. He was at the VOC Ground in the city following allegations that the police were not allowing people to enter the ground as a group fearing that a Jallikattu-like protest would begin there. I strongly condemn the arrest of Salem student activist Valarmathi under the Goondas Act. 

The police have also foisted false cases against her,” said the activist. “I will continue to fight despite odds,” he said. Ramasamy further added that he will register a case against the police officer who attacked him at Tirupur under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. He also said that he will organise a Kollayaney Veliyeru protest against the state government on the Marina beach during the first week of August.

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