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Yogendra Yadav Detained in Tamil Nadu, Alleges 'Mandhandling' by Police

Yogendra Yadav said that he was told by the superintendent of police that his presence could lead to a law and order problem.

Updated:September 8, 2018, 9:45 PM IST
Yogendra Yadav Detained in Tamil Nadu, Alleges 'Mandhandling' by Police
File photo of Yogendra Yadav (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: Founder of Swaraj Abhiyan, Yogendra Yadav was detained by police in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu on Saturday. Yadav and his aides were there to meet farmers who are protesting against the construction of the Salem-Chennai expressway.

Yadav was reportedly taken to a nearby location after being detained at Chengam in this district, police said without elaborating.

In a series of tweets, the psephologist-turned-politician said that he was detained after he had spoken with a senior district official regarding the allegations of forced acquisition of land for the corridor and arbitrary arrests of locals. He further alleged that the police manhandled him and seized his mobile phone.

"TN police has detained me and team in Chengam PS, Thiru Annamalai district. We came on the invitation of Movement Against 8Lane Way. We were prevented from going to meet farmers, phones snatched, manhandled and pushed into police van. First hand experience of police state in TN!" Yadav said.

The former Aam Aadmi Party leader said that he was told by the superintendent of police that his presence could lead to a law and order problem.

He added that he only wanted to visit the farmers in their homes but was denied permission. “Gandhian disobedience is the only way out, it seems,” Yadav tweeted.

Yadav along with lawyer Prashant Bhushan founded Swaraj Abhiyan after the two were expelled from Aam Aadmi Party for alleged ‘anti-party’ activities.

DMK leader M K Stalin came out in support of Yadav and termed his detention "arbitrary". "The DMK strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of @_SwarajIndia chief @_YogendraYadav who supported farmers affected by #ChennaiSalemExpressway project," he wrote on Twitter.

The "intolerant" AIADMK government will pay the price for denying people the democratic right to dissent and protest, Stalin said.

The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) also condemned Yadav's detention.

The Salem-Chennai expressway, a central government initiative being executed by the Tamil Nadu government, seeks to reduce the travel time between Salem and Chennai.

The proposed eight-lane Salem-Chennai expressway has been hit by protests from farmers who are not willing to give up their land for the project. Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami has however maintained that the compensation being given to landowners was more compared to the past, as the guideline value has increased.

Reports of police excesses, including arrests of activists and locals protesting against the acquisition of agricultural land, have also surfaced.
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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