Mugilan has been missing since late night on February 15
With political parties stepping up pressure on the government to trace activist R.S. Mugilan alias Shanmugam, who went missing in the city, DGP T.K. Rajendran on Monday issued an order entrusting the probe to the CB-CID.
Mugilan was last seen by his friends around 10.30 p.m on February 15 at Egmore railway station. He was accompanied by activist V.P Ponnarasan and others when he arrived at the station to board a train to Madurai. Since then, his whereabouts are unknown. The next day, Mani, the coordinator of Tamil Nadu Students and Youth Federation, lodged a police complaint.
Meanwhile, political parties and social activists on Monday announced a protest on March 2, demanding that the State government and police act swiftly to trace him.
Mugilan worked as a full-time activist with Left parties in Namakkal and Erode districts.
He was also involved in agitations against the nuclear plant in Kudankulam, illegal sand mining in Thoothukudi, protests demanding the release of Cauvery water and release of seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. He actively participated in anti-Sterlite protests.
Mugilan disappeared hours after releasing a video documentary at Chennai Press Club alleging that IG and DIG-rank police officials orchestrated the police firing against anti-Sterlite protesters at Thoothukudi last May, which resulted in the killing of 13 people.
Moving a habeas corpus petition before the Madras High Court, Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director of People’s Watch, said Mugilan had boarded the train at Egmore station at 10.30 p.m. His mobile phone was active till 1.45 a.m. on Saturday. He lost connectivity at Olukkur in Villupuram district and has remained untraceable since. Mr. Tiphagne feared that the activist could have been abducted for having exposed the role of top police officials in the firing incident.
The court ordered the police to trace Mugilan and submit a report on March 4. Under such circumstances, leaders of political parties, social activists and environmentalists gathered here and demanded immediate action. Veteran CPI leader R. Nallakannu said, “Democratic forces here are deeply anguished over the sudden disappearance of activist Mugilan. He actively participated several protests against the government and on environmental issues and had been imprisoned for a year. The Chief Minister and DGP should take contingent efforts to trace him.”
The gathering announced a protest on March 2 in front of the State Guest House demanding quick action in this regard and threatened that the protest would be intensified unless Mugilan was quickly traced.