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TN student held on way to protest says she was stripped thrice in jail

Valarmathi and six more students from Coimbatore were arrested in April while on their way to oppose a hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal in Pudukkottai district. She alleged that she was made to strip in Tiruchirapalli central jail. Prison official dismisses her allegations as “pure lies”.  

india Updated: May 22, 2017 18:14 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu,journalism student stripped,Neduvasal
Villagers protest against the hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai district earlier this year. (PTI Photo)

A journalism student arrested on her way to oppose a hydrocarbon project at Neduvasal in Tamil Nadu has alleged that she was harassed and stripped thrice in jail.

Valarmathi, who studies in Coimbatore and was arrested with six more students on April 15, levelled the allegations against Tiruchirapalli central jail officials.

“I demand a judicial probe into our arrest as well as the manner in which we were treated in jail,” she told mediapersons on Saturday after coming out the jail on bail.

“I told jail officials we were students and innocent. I asked why were we being treated like this?” she added, flanked by relatives and rights activists. Valarmathi alleged that she was stripped in the name of search. “Each time we protested, they stepped up pressure.”

Prison authorities said she was lying. Jaya Bharati, deputy inspector general (prison), Tiruchirapalli, said Valarmathi’s allegations were “pure lies”. Bharati added, “We followed the jail manual. Everything was done as per rules and regulations.”

Four other students also came out of the jail on Saturday. The other students, among them a woman, will be let out once their bail bonds are furnished, said police.

The students, all from Coimbatore, had boarded a train for Neduvasal, more than 400 km from Chennai. They were allegedly distributing leaflets and singing songs on the train when police detained them near Karur.

First Published: May 22, 2017 18:01 IST