Psephologist-turned-politician Yogendra Yadav stated that he was arrested in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district while he was on his way to meet farmers that were protesting against a proposed Rs 10,000 crore eight-lane Salem-Chennai expressway on Sunday. The 55-year-old Yadav alleged that the police officers stopped him from meeting farmers, accusing him the cops of manhandling him. He tweeted, "My crime: Wanting to meet farmers in their home. Where is rule of law?" He was released from the police custody after four hours of arrest while as per him, he was just visiting the farmers.
Yadav tweeted, "TN police has detained me and team in Chengam PS, Thiru Annamalai district. We came on the invitation of Movement Against 8 Lane Way. We were prevented from going to meet farmers, phones snatched, manhandled and pushed into a police van. First-hand experience of a police state in TN! (sic)". He was known to be the one who founded Swaraj India in 2015 after he got evicted from AAP – Aam Janta Party for taking over Arvind Kejriwal.
However, police have denied anything like this and have said that the activist didn’t have any permission before he went to meet the farmers. As per the cops, Yadav and his team would have required a lot of protection as per the policies since the situation might have turned out to be volatile for the leader.
He later on added more tweets to it in which he alleged that he was arrested just minutes after he spoke with a senior district official about the complaints of forced acquisition of land for the police excesses and expressways.
He added, “I had spoken to Mr Kandasamy, Collector, Thiru Annamalai about the acquisition and complains of police excesses for 8 laneway. He completely denied any police interference. Within minutes of the phone call, police detained us.”
I had spoken to Mr Kandasamy, Collector, Thiru Annamalai about acquisition and complains of police excesses for 8 lane way. He completely denied any police interference. Within minutes of the phone call police detained us. https://t.co/KYrA0oHJ26
He even tweeted, “Supdt. Police, Thiru Annamalai is here to tell me hay they apprehend law and order problem due to my presence! I am saying I will only visit farmers inside their homes. SP says I am not allowed! Gandhian disobedience is the only way out, it seems.”
Supdt. Police, Thiru Annamalai is here to tell me hay they apprehend law and order problem due to my presence! I am saying I will only visit farmers inside their homes. SP says I am not allowed! Gandhian disobedience is the only way out, it seems.
It's 4 hours now, we are still locked inside this marriage hall. No formal order Not even oral information about whether we are under detention or arrest 9 Farmers who met me this morning detained Another 40 farmers waiting to meet me also detained.
The expressway has been facing opposition from a section of locals that includes farmers over their fear of losing their land as well as any of the environmentalists who have opposed to the felling of trees for the said project.