Human rights Defender
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 10th August, regarding the detention of Mr. Thirumurgan Gandhi at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru.
Mr. Gandhi has been detained by the immigration officials of the airport, allegedly on the basis of a ‘Look Out Circular’ (LOC). The LOC is stated to have been issued against him on the basis of instructions from the Tamil Nadu Police relating to previous cases he has been charged with. No official papers had been provided to Mr. Gandhi reasoning his detention nor had he been provided with the copy of the LOC. Mr. Gandhi was returning to India after attending the recent UNHRC session and also attended formal meetings in the European Commission as well as other meetings in Europe. During the UNHRC sessions in June 2018, Mr. Gandhi had on record stated about the killings of 15 people in Thoothukudi City of Tamil Nadu due to police firing and other police actions upon the peaceful protestors against the Sterlite industry, a copper smelter plant causing environmental pollution in the district. Mr. Gandhi had also appealed to the UNHRC about the misuse and harassment of human rights defenders in India by arbitrarily using prevention detention laws and incarcerating them in prisons. He cited his own case, where on May 21, 2017, he was arrested for organising a candle-light vigil in remembrance of the victims of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka during 2009. He was later detained under the notorious and draconian ‘The Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Slum-Grabbers, Act, 1982’ (known as the Goonda’s Act) by the Tamil Nadu Police on false and fabricated cases against him and other activists associated with May 17 Movement.
HRDA prayed for a thorough investigation and to take immediate action on the perpetrators of the case.