Who is Lois Sofia, the Girl Arrested For ‘Insulting’ the BJP

Lois Sofia, a student from Thoothukudi was arrested for allegedly shouting slogans against the BJP government.

2 min read
 Lois Sofia, a student from Thoothukudi was arrested on Monday, 3 September, for allegedly shouting slogans against the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.

A day after the arrest of Lois Sofia, a student from Thoothukudi, for allegedly shouting slogans against the BJP government in the presence of Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan, she was granted unconditional bail on Tuesday, 4 September.

According to several reports, Sofia was asked to offer an apology to Soundararajan following the incident, which she allegedly refused. The student-activist was also admitted at a government hospital briefly, after complaining about stomach pain.

Sofia, an independent journalist, has been a vocal critic of the Tamil Nadu government, and the Modi-led government at the Centre. From lashing out at the Palaniswami-led government during the Anti-Sterlite protests in her articles for ‘Ground Xero’ and The Wire, to sharing her pro-liberal views on Twitter, here’s what we know about the student-activist.

Thoothukudi Resident, Student and Activist

Sofia, a 28-year-old student, who hails from Thoothukudi, is pursuing a degree in Mathematics from the University of Montreal in Canada.

An independent journalist and student-activist, Sofia is the daughter of Dr AA Sami, a retired government doctor, and was travelling on the flight with her parents when the Thoothukudi police firing incident took place. It was also her first day back in her hometown.

Sofia has consistently covered the protests from overseas.

She is also reported to be a close relative of advocate Athisayakumar, one of the leading activists in the anti-Sterlite movement, The Deccan Chronicle reports.

Not one to mince her words, Sofia is active on Twitter and has used the platform to share her views on the state and central government.

Her prime focus has been the anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi, where 13 people were killed in police firing during protests in May 2018.

Opposing the Government

“A whole month has passed since the police killed 13 people and maimed tens of others in broad daylight in Thoothukudi. While no action has been initiated against personnel who shot 131 bullets at unarmed protestors, the police have been rounding up and arresting people who participated in the agitation against Sterlite,” wrote Sofia in an article for Ground Xero News.

In the same article, Sofia repeatedly called out the Palaniswamy-led government’s crackdown on the protesters, saying that the government merely indulged in scapegoating the left-leaning Makkal Athikaram (People’s Power) to wash their hands off the police-firing incident.

The Tamil Nadu government led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami of AIADMK has launched a state-wide attack on freedom of expression and is locking up scores of dissenters.
Sofia wrote in her article 

In a second article, she wrote, “...The Tamil Nadu government’s modus operandi of crushing dissenting voices with brute force to make way for so-called development projects has recently extended to protests in and around Salem and Tiruvannamalai districts against the upcoming access-controlled 8-lane expressway connecting Chennai to Salem.”

Besides her strong views on the Thoothukudi protests, Sofia tweets on current social issues, including caste wars and even the Bangladesh protests over road safety that took place last month.

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