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Thirumurugan Gandhi arrested on sedition charge

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Chennai City Police on Thursday arrested May 17 Movement co-ordinator Thirumurugan Gandhi at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru on charges of sedition.

He has been actively campaigning against the eight-lane Chennai-Salem green corridor project and the police firing in Thoothukudi following protests against the Sterlite Copper plant.

The city police have registered 22 cases against him for having conducted agitations, processions and candle light vigil protests on the Marina beach in violation of prohibitory orders.

According to sources, he flagged the Thoothukudi firing at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) session held in Geneva a few days ago. He was returning to the country after attending the council meeting and landed at the airport on Thursday morning. Since a lookout circular had been issued recently asking all airports in the country to arrest him on his arrival, the immigration authorities in Bengaluru detained him at the airport and handed him over to the airport police.

According to police sources, a case has been registered by the Cyber Crime Cell of the CCB against him under Section 124 A (sedition), 153 A (1) and 153 (b) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc) of the IPC.

The Chennai City Police is likely to bring him here and produce him before a Magistrate Court for remand.

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