A 28-year-old studying in Canada, Lois Sofia, arrested for shouting “fascist BJP government down, down” on board a flight before Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan was granted bail a day later, Tuesday, by a Thoothukudi court.
Travelling with her parents, Sofia was arrested at Tuticorin airport after Soundararajan filed a complaint with the airport police.
The arrest led to a massive outrage against the police and the AIADMK government. Joining in, DMK chief M K Stalin accused the Tamil Nadu government of curbing the freedom of speech.
“The Tamil Nadu government’s anti-democratic actions, against the right to free speech, are highly condemnable. She must be released immediately. How many people will be imprisoned if you arrest everyone who says that? I will also say it. ‘BJP’s fascist government down, down’,” Stalin tweeted.
Among other provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Sofia was also charged under Section 75 of the Tamil Nadu City Police (TNCP) Act, 1888.
What is Section 75 of TNCP Act, 1888?
The law states when a public servant, in charge of maintaining public peace, questions a person while performing his lawful duty, must be replied to politely.
In case of breach of such public peace, the person would be held under this law.
Simply put, the law penalises a person for committing breach of public peace.
Expanding on the provision, if a person is found drunk, under the influence of liquor or drugs, incapable of taking care of himself, behaving violently or in riotous manner using threatening or abusive language at public places would be held liable for causing breach of public peace. The law states that on board a boat or any other vessel would be considered a public place.
A person found in such breach of public peace shall be liable to a maximum six months jail or fined up to Rs. 1000.