Tamil Nadu: Anti Liquor Activist Jailed Days Before Her Marriage
A woman anti-liquor activist, whose marriage was scheduled to be solemnised on July 5, has been taken in judicial custody and sent to jail by a Judicial Magistrate court in Tamil Nadu.
On 27 June, anti-liquor activist Nandhini Anandan along with her father R Anandan had appeared before the Tirupattur District court for allegedly organising a protest for the removal of a liquor shop run by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) in 2014. They were distributing pamphlets highlighting the evils of consuming liquor. The police had booked them on charges of abusing police and preventing public servants from discharging their duties.
This Thursday, while the hearing was going on they allegedly entered into an argument with the magistrate arguing that liquor is a drug and selling it by government-owned liquor shops is an offence under Section 328 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The activist had asked the magistrate: Is liquor a medicine or a food item or intoxicant and argued that isn’t selling a drug by state-owned liquor shops a crime?
The court initiated a contempt of court proceedings against the duo and sent them to jail till July 9 when they refused to arrange sureties for bail.
What is Section 328?
According to Section 328: “whoever administers to or causes to be taken by any person any poison or any stupefying, intoxicating or unwholesome drug, or other thing with intent to cause hurt to such person, or with intent to commit or to facilitate the commission of an offence or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Nandhini’s argument is that alcohol under this section comes under the definition of ‘intoxicating or unwholesome’ drug and inducing any person to consume it is a crime.
Nandhini has been campaigning against liquor consumption since her school days. Her father has been supporting her shoulder to shoulder to raise awareness that liquor is bad for a human being and causes damage to the vital organs.
She further argued that TASMAC shops are selling an unwholesome drug and, thus, commits a crime. Therefore, the shops must be closed down and state-owned marketing body be prosecuted for causing damage to the health of liquor consumers.
#ReleaseNandhini campaign started trending on Twitter immediately after they were jailed.
Nandhini.. It's is a name that is currently heard all over Tamil Nadu. She's been fighting since 12 years against anti alcohol. And been jailed for questioning. To end this, she posed a question to the court.!#ReleaseNandhini pic.twitter.com/o2ruKvtrkI
— Suneel Ram (@suneelkrishh) June 30, 2019
#ReleaseNandhini This isn't fair… All she questioned was if alcohol is a food, she is thrown in jail… Pathetic standards… I wish they marry right during remand and give befitting reply to all who wanted her to be in Jail… @RKRadhakrishn @Rajakumaari
— Vjvijay (@Vjvijay34186733) June 29, 2019