Salem, June 19: Environmental activist Piyush Manush was arrested by Tamil Nadu police on Monday for allegedly making inflammatory comments and provoking public against the proposed Chennai-Salem eight-lane Greenfield Corridor project which is estimated to cost Rs 10,000 crore. Also Read - Historic! FASTag Records 50 Lakh Transactions, Toll Collection Crosses Rs 80 Crore in a Day
Manush has been at the forefront in opposing the proposed eight-lane Chennai-Salem highway project as well as the Salem airport expansion. Manush’s arrest comes after Tamil actor Mansoor Ali Khan was arrested on Sunday over the same issue. Also Read - No Cash Payments On Toll Plazas From January 1. Here's How You Can Get Your FASTag
Salem Deputy Superintendent of Police S Baskaran reportedly said that Manush’s name appeared in the first information report (FIR) filed against Mansoor Ali Khan. Baskar said, “We arrested him late evening today. I cannot reveal charges now. He is remanded.” Also Read - Hang Pictures of Corrupt Officials Who Delayed NHAI Project For 12 Years: Nitin Gadkari
On May 3, when Mansoor Ali Khan visited the Mookaneri in Salem, he allegedly delivered an inflammatory speech at Omallur against the implementation of a highway project. Khan addressed the speech in the presence of Manush at a non-governmental organisation maintained by Manush.
During a vehicle check on Salem-Dharmapuri road on Monday, Manush was taken into custody by Omalur police. Manush was already arrested for his activism against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s pet project. In 2016, Manush protested against constructing a bridge at Muluvadi gate in Salem and was arrested for the same.
Tamil Nadu government is planning to acquire 2791 hectares of land to implement the NHAI project. On Monday, a land survey was conducted in Salem despite resistance from farmers and political parties. The travel time between Chennai and Salem which is 6 hours 26 minutes will be reduced to three hours 9 minutes once the action plan is executed. The highway runs through 159 villages such as Salem, Krishnagiri, Tiruvannamalai and Kancheepuram.