Traffic Ramasamy

Sameera Ahmed| The News Minute| March 16, 2015| 8.30 pm IST

Note: On Monday night, a magistrate court granted Traffic Ramaswamy bail, and he was discharged. This interview was done before the discharge.

It was an attempt to break the spirit of Traffic Ramaswamy. Dragging him out of his house at 4 am, putting him in jail for tearing a poster and subjecting the 82 year old to harassment till he fell unconscious. But the crusader is anything but broken. He, in his usual self, is raring to go.

Four police officers stand outside the ICU where 82 year old he lies and the officers say over a 100 people have visited him in the last few days.

The Chennai-based activist who has been responsible for filing over 400 PILS in the past is currently recuperating in a Chennai hospital after an arrest in the early hours of last Thursday morning.

“They dragged me out at four. They are not even considering that I am a old person. What is the procedure? They have to give me summons. They drove around for three hours until seven till they went to the magistrate house,” he told The News Minute.

Picked up at 4 in the morning on Thursday by the police, he was taken to a woman magistrate’s house after which he was remanded to judicial custody.

An arrest that began after a restaurant owner CS Veeramani lodged a complaint against the activist for issuing death threats to him, according to the police, the issue itself caught the eye of the judiciary after Ramaswamy’s health worsened in prison.

Lodged in Puzhal jail for a night, he was quickly moved to the government hospital after his health worsened.

The activist seems to have recovered quite a bit and his old former self quite visible as he loudly condemns the treatment meted out to him by the police.

“My health worsened and a urine bag was attached.The police threatened the duty doctor to remove it in order to get me jailed in Puzhal prison again,” he alleged.

He was visibly agitated at the police and asked, “Why did they have to drive around with me? Why arrest me at 4 am when they know they can’t take me to a magistrate’s house then? I lost my glasses and could not see anything. The police gave it back to me only after a doctor insisted,” he recalled.

Traffic Ramaswamy also says that the restaurant owner who complained against him hit him saying ‘will you touch Jayalalithaa’s poster’.

“There are so many murderers roaming on the streets, but they had to arrest me. I could not see for many hours. I did not even know which hospital they took me…” his voice quivering.

But he was certain about one thing, “I will not leave any of them. I will come out of hospital and agitate.”