A screengrab of the video tweeted by @ANI Image Credit: Twitter/@ANI

Chennai: An autorickshaw driver in Chennai was allegedly assaulted by BJP members when he asked the party's state President about rising oil prices.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's Tamil Nadu chief, Tamilisai Soundararajan, was addressing the media here on Sunday when an autorickshaw driver, Kadir, who was standing behind her, asked her about the rising fuel prices.

While Sundararajan ignored the question and kept facing the camera unperturbed, BJP and Hindu Munnani members pulled him by his hair from the back and took him away. They allegedly manhandled and threatened him.


Incident with student

Soundararajan was earlier involved in the arrest of a student for shouting slogans against her.

Soundararajan complained to Tuticorin airport authorities about a young woman, Sofia, who shouted anti-BJP slogans inside an aircraft.

Upon landing at the Tuticorin airport, Soundararajan and Sophia had an argument and the leader lodged a complaint with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the airline concerned.

The police took Sofia into custody.

Following this, tweeps used hashtag #ReleaseSophia to support Sophia who is reportedly a student and a writer. The term “Fascist Regime” also trended in Tamil.

Discussing freedom of speech, a large number of Twitter users quoted a tweet Indian Prime Minister and BJP member Narendra Modi @PMOIndia had posted earlier this year: “I want this Government to be criticised. Criticism makes democracy strong: PM @narendramodi”

Sharing the tweet, user Amarjeet Rathore @vistadreamz tweeted: “A student and young girl #Sophia from Tamilnadu shouts “Fascist BJP down down” at #TuticorinAirport and BJP takes it so seriously to prove whatever she shouted is right by jailing her for 15 days, by the way, my dear PM said criticise my govt to make democracy strong.”

Another user @Emanthavan replied to the same tweet, requesting Modi to take a look into the issue: “@PMOIndia a girl called #Sophia did that in Tuticorin and she jailed for 15 days can u please look [at] this.”

Whereas, tweep Shabbir Ahmed @Ahmedshabbir20 expressed concern about the police’s priorities: “#Tuticorin police has not lodged an FIR against police personnel who killed 13 people during Anti-Sterlite protest.

But quickly sends a student to jail for shouting #FacistBJPDownDown. Tamil Nadu state police is setting new standards in policing.”

(With inputs from IANS)