- Lois Sofia was arrested after the plane landed in Tuticorin
- She is a research scholar in Canada
- She was arrested on a complaint by BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan
A woman arrested at the Tuticorin airport on Monday after she shouted "down with Modi, BJP-RSS fascist government" on a flight in the presence of a BJP leader has been released on bail.
Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan, who was on the flight and complained against her, had said: "She was not an ordinary passenger, I suspect some extremist organization behind her."
28-year-old Lois Sofia, a research scholar in Canada, and Ms Soundararajan, were on the flight to Tuticorin. Ms Sofia allegedly shouted the slogan when the BJP leader, seated in the front row, came near her to take her bag.
Ms Sofia was arrested after the plane landed in Tuticorin and Ms Soundararajan filed a complaint with the airport police. A video recorded at the airport shows the BJP leader asking angrily: "How can she shout like that? This is not a public forum."
Sofia has been charged with creating "public nuisance" and "attempt to cause alarm".
The student's father AA Sami, a retired government officer, has also filed a police complaint against the Tamil Nadu BJP chief and a few others for "criminal intimidation". That case has not been registered by the police yet.
Mr Sami says he and his wife had received their daughter at the Chennai airport and were flying with her to Tuticorin. When they arrived at Tuticorin, he says, his daughter was surrounded by men and abuses were thrown at her. The family was reportedly kept in a room for safety.
Ms Soundrarajan told reporters that the men were upset workers.
Ms Sofia, a writer and a mathematician, had earlier participated in campaigns against the Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin and the Chennai-Salem eight lane expressway.
In a tweet before her arrest, Sofia had posted: "I am on a flight with Tamilisai Soundararajan and really want to shout out 'Down with Modi - BJP - RSS fascist government'. Will I be kicked off the flight?"
DMK Chief MK Stalin slammed the police action against Ms Sofia and demanded her release. Mr Stalin said he too would repeat her slogan and asked: "If you'd put behind bars all those who raise such slogans, how many lakh people would you jail?"