Former Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) national president Dr Subbaiah Shanmugam, who was arrested on March 19 over a complaint of harassment filed by a 62-year-old woman in Chennai, was released on bail by the Madras High Court on March 21. Subbaiah was accused of throwing garbage and urinating outside the woman’s apartment in Nanganallur, Chennai. Subbaiah was arrested on March 19 in the nearly two-year-old harassment case; was remanded in custody until March 31 by a judicial magistrate.
The incident reportedly happened in July 2020 after Subbaiah and the elderly woman got into an altercation over a parking spot. Following that she had expressed concerns over someone leaving garbage outside her home. Her family had installed a CCTV camera in which Subbaiah was seen urinating outside her door.
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Subbaiah was then booked under sections 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule) and 427 (mischief causing damage) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Tamil Nadu Women Harassment Prevention Act at Adambakkam police based on a complaint submitted along with CCTV camera footage. The woman, however, withdrew the complaint, her kin alleged she was being pressured by BJP, RSS members.
Subbaiah had filed a bail petition at the High Court which was picked for an immediate hearing on March 21, as an emergency case. The judge granted bail to Subbaiah after questioning the police about why the case was taken up two years after the incident and new sections that were added. Further hearing has been adjourned to March 24.
Reportedly, Dr Subbaiah was the head of the Department of Surgical Oncology in Kilpauk Medical College during the incident but was suspended recently for “violating the service rules” by engaging in political activities. He was suspended for helping ABVP members who protested outside Chief Minister MK Stalin’s residence. He was appointed as one of the board members of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Madurai in October 2020 which was met with wide condemnation.
The complainant, Balaji, on March 19, reportedly wrote to the Joint Commissioner of Police and sought police protection over the “overwhelming calls and subtle threats” from lackeys of BJP, ABVP, RSS. He also alleged that they had been attempting to sabotage the case.