SIPCOT project: CM revokes Goondas Act on 6 farmers, EV Velu claims 'outsiders creating trouble'; wife of detained activist say 'minister is lying'

Earlier in the day, multiple political parties, including the AIADMK and the BJP, urged the DMK government to revoke the detention of the farmers under Goondas Act.

Published: 18th November 2023 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2023 10:51 AM   |  A+A-

File photo: Tamil Nadu farmers protesting | EPS

Express News Service

TIRUVANNAMALAI: Chief Minister MK Stalin late on Friday revoked the Goondas Act invoked against six farmers for protesting against land acquisition for Sipcot project at Melma in Cheyyar taluk in Tiruvannamalai district. 

In his statement, the CM said the detention law was invoked as the accused had obstructed government officials from performing their duty, disturbed people by blocking roads, and stopped farmers from giving away their land willingly for the project. 

The six accused were released after their family members first met Cheyyar MLA and later Minister for Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports E V Velu on Friday and requested their release, the CM said in his statement. 

Though seven protestors were detained and booked under Goondas Act on November 15, action against environmental activist Arul Arumugam has not been rolled back. Arul Arumugam, from Krishnagiri district, gained prominence after his opposition to the Chennai-Salem eight-lane highway project during the previous AIADMK regime.

Earlier in the day, multiple political parties, including the AIADMK and the BJP, urged the DMK government to revoke the detention of the farmers under Goondas Act.

Wanted to bring jobs for youth but outsiders create trouble: Min

Speaking to reporters on Friday, E V Velu said the government’s intention is to provide jobs to educated and youth in the district and “outsiders” are creating trouble. Devan (one of the seven detained) doesn’t even own any land, Velu claimed. The minister accused activist Arul from Krishnagiri as the chief instigator behind the protest.

“It’s pre-planned hindrance to development work,” he said. Land parcels owned by around 1,881 farmers have been acquired for the project and only 233 objected, he said. Devan’s father said he does not support the protest but his wife D Kalaiselvi said some DMK men intimidated the family and made her father-in-law speak against his son.

“The protest was entirely initiated by the affected people.” M Povizhi Keerthana, wife of detained activist Arul, told TNIE that local farmers requested her husband to protest against the issue. “Farmers from Melma including one Pachaiyappan sought the help of my husband as he had vigorously opposed the eight-lane expansion project of the AIADMK government. He didn’t start the protest. Minister EV Velu is lying,” she said.

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 residents of 10 village panchayats in Melma hoisted black flags in front of their homes on Friday to protest against the state’s highhandedness. The DMK government has planned to acquire 3,300 acres of agricultural land for the Cheyyar Sipcot project.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp