A day after actor Mansoor Ali Khan's arrest, the well-known Salem-based environmental activist Piyush Manush was detained on Monday for making a provocative speech against the Chennai-Salem Greenfield Corridor.
He has been agitating against both the expansion of the Salem airport and the proposed eight-lane Chennai-Salem expressway.
In the wake of Mansoor Ali Khan's arrest over his alleged remarks during an event in Salem against the proposed Salem-Chennai highway project, the Tamil Nadu government warned of stringent action against those violating the law and inciting violence. Manush had brought Mansoor Ali Khan to Salem to speak to villagers.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, a senior minister and AIADMK spokesperson D Jayakumar said, “All should abide by the law. None can be allowed to incite violence. Those who talk (like Mansoor Ali Khan) will ultimately go to jail.” He said the government will not remain quiet when somebody talks in a way that would incite violence.
Farmers, whose land will be acquired to implement the Rs 10,000-crore Chennai-Salem Greenfield Corridor, are opposing the project fearing a loss of livelihood, threat to the ecosystem and measly compensation offered by the government which a section of them claim is well below the market rate.
Farmers in Dharmapuri, Salem and Tiruvannamalai started protesting the project from May when the terms for land acquisition with details of survey numbers of land to be acquired were notified under the Land Acquisition Act of 2013. Recently, more than 500 farmers, environmental activists, advocates and locals protested demanding the central government to withdraw the project. A separate forum was also formed to protest against this project called “Pasumai yettu Vazhi Saalai Yethirpu Kuzhu” (Anti- committee for eight lane green corridor).
(With inputs from Express News Service)