Chennai: DMK president M K Stalin came out in support of the student who was arrested by the Thoothukudi police for shouting “down with fascist government” at Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan in a plane.
Retweeting a news story about the arrest of Lois Sofia, Stalin slammed the Tamil Nadu government.
“The anti-democratic actions of the Tamil Nadu government that is against the right to free speech are highly condemnable. She must be released immediately. If you would arrest everyone who says that, how many lakhs of people would you imprison? I will also say it. ‘BJP’s fascist government down, down'” he tweeted.
Sofia who was arrested on Monday was released on a bail today.
Actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan also extended support to 28-year-old student Sofia. He said “to air dissent is not crime”.
Tamilisai Soundararajan and Sofia Lois, a research scholar in Canada, were on the flight to Tuticorin.
On boarding the flight, she saw Tamilisai in the same flight, prompting her loud reaction. Sofia, said to have strong political opinion against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to one of the passengers, started shouting hysterically, “fascist Modi government down down”.
Tamilisai, however remained cool inside the flight, but politely asked later whether her in-flight behaviour was decent, after both got down at Thoothukudi airport at around 12 noon. The PhD scholar, however without any expression of remorse, justified that she has the freedom of speech.
This “arrogant attitude” of Sofia, irritated the supporters of the BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan, who surrounded the lady and her mother and demanded an apology.
The young lady, however, refused to apologise, despite her mother advising her to do so.
Sofia was arrested after the plane landed in Tuticorin and Tamilisai filed a complaint with the airport police. A video recorded at the airport shows the BJP leader asking angrily: “How can she shout like that? This is not a public forum.”