Psephologist and founder of Swaraj India Yogendra Yadav on Saturday alleged that he was manhandled and pushed into a police van in Tamil Nadu's Tiruvannamalai district while on his way to meet farmers protesting against the Rs 10,000 crore eight-lane Salem-Chennai expressway.
"TN police has detained me and team in Chengam PS, Thiru Annamalai district. We came on the invitation of Movement Against 8Lane Way. We were prevented from going to meet farmers, phones snatched, manhandled and pushed into police van. First-hand experience of police state in TN (sic)," Yadav wrote on Twitter.
The former Aam Aadmi Party leader claimed that the police arrested him minutes after he spoke to Thiru Annamalai Collector Kandasamy about the forceful acquisition of land for the highway.
“I had spoken to Mr Kandasamy, Collector, Thiru Annamalai about the acquisition and complaints of police excesses for 8 laneway. He completely denied any police interference. Within minutes of the phone call police detained us,” Yadav said in a series of tweets.
The police, however, denied the allegations and clarified that the 55-year-old politician, who had launched the Jai Kisan Andolan for farmers rights in 2017, didn’t have the permission to meet the farmers. It said Yadav and his team would have taken away from the spot due to security concerns as the situation there could have turned volatile given the sensitivity of the issue.