Lawyer Fighting for Anti-Sterlite Protestors Arrested by Tamil Nadu Police
June 21, 2018
Advocate S Vanchinathan was arrested at Chennai Airport at 1 am today in relation to the Sterlite protests in Tuticorin. He is the State Coordinator of People's Right Protection Center and practising law at Madurai Bench of Madras High Court at Madurai. He has been counsel for many cases filed on behalf of Thoothukudi citizens and anti-Sterlite protest groups.
Advocate V Suresh. General Secretary, People’s Union For Civil Liberties said, “This is a direct assault on lawyers practising in the human rights field and should be strongly opposed. The TN government and the police are trying to silence all democratic forces and scare other lawyers from appearing in sensitive cases challenging undemocratic and anti-constitutional policies and actions of the government. Tamil Nadu government is a coward for killing innocent unarmed people of Thoothukudi and putting the blame on a public-spirited activist who helped the people of Thoothukudi legally and morally."
The Madurai bench of the Madras high court had directed police to refrain from arresting two advocates last week. They were accused by the police of engineering the protests against Sterlite in Tuticorin.
Police have registered more than 10 cases against the advocates – S Vanchinathan of Madurai and Hari Raghavan of Tuticorin, alleging that the duo played a role in engineering the protests. Both the advocates are functionaries of an outfit – Makkal Urimai Paadhugaapu Maiyam. Tuticorin police had booked cases under various sections of IPC including 506 (2) (Criminal intimidation), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging duty) and Section 3 of the Tamil Nadu Property (prevention of damages and loss) act.
“According to their bail petition, they were in the riot-hit coastal town only to provide legal assistance and advise to the anti-Sterlite people’s federation. Further, they said that they were in no way connected to the violent actions as mentioned in the FIR and submitted that police acted to stifle their voices,” reported Times of India.
First published in Sabrang India.
Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.