July 06 2020
Police agree not to bar Sofia’s return to Canada
25 September 2018

SHRC member wonders why officials are keen on arresting the research scholar

The police on Monday agreed not to object to or obstruct the travel plans of Lois Sofia who was arrested for allegedly raising anti-BJP slogans in the presence of party’s State president Tamilisai Soundararajan on a Chennai-Thoothukudi flight on September 3.

When he appeared before the State Human Rights Commission’s member D. Jayachandran here on Monday, Inspector, Pudukottai, and investigating officer R. Thirumalai assured that the police would not spoil Ms. Sofia’s plans to fly back to Canada where she is pursuing her research.

As the SHRC had summoned Ms. Sofia’s father A.A. Samy and Mr. Thirumalai to appear on Monday, complainant Dr. Samy, accompanied by his advocate Athisayakumar, came to the Circuit House where the SHRC’s trial was conducted. Since Mr. Thirumalai did not turn up, the complainant and his daughter, as a supporting witness, submitted their affidavits separately.

After an hour, Mr. Thirumalai appeared before Mr. Jayachandran, saying that he did not receive any summons from the SHRC. “Only after being informed by the District Police Office over the phone, I’ve come here,” he said. Mr. Jayachandran warned that he would have to summon the SP to appear before the Commission to explain why he did not inform the Inspector about the summons. He also asked the police officer to explain why he was so keen on arresting the research scholar though she had not committed any serious offence.

“Neither the captain of the flight nor the cabin crew had filed any complaint. However, you’d taken the girl to the police station and kept her there for more than seven hours. Do you know the provisions of Criminal Procedure Coder in this regard?” Mr. Jayachandran asked. “The video clips I have in my mobile suggest that the police had picked up Ms. Sofia from the airport and whisked her away to the Pudukottai police station. But you have recorded that she was arrested in front of the airport. I want to know how did the research scholar under the police custody managed to come to the airport again,” said Mr. Jayachandran

The reported correction made by Mr. Thirumalai in the FIR filed by Sub-Inspector Latha too infuriated the SHRC member, who said she would soon be summoned.

“While you hastily arrested Ms. Sofia, no action has been taken so far on the complaint preferred by her father accusing the BJP workers and Dr. Tamilisai of having issued a death threat to the girl. Instead, you have recorded it only in the Community Service Register. Do you know that FIR should be registered within 7 days after recording a complaint in the CSR,” he said.

The hearing was adjourned to October 26.



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