Octogenarian social activist “Traffic” Ramaswamy has been a thorn in the side of any party ruling Tamil Nadu for decades, filing numerous PILs on governance issues. However, Ramaswamy nearly ended up in the dock on January 4 after the Madras High Court asked him to leave the court for being too loud.

 

Ramaswamy had filed a PIL demanding the removal of a large posse of policemen and barricades at Veda Nilayam, the residence of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in the Poes Garden neighbourhood of Chennai. Jayalalithaa’s confidante and current AIADMK chief V.K. Sasikala continues to live there. Ramaswamy claimed that he had been abused by police personnel at Poes Garden and demanded the removal of the 250-strong security force posted there.

 

 

Ramaswamy reportedly raised his voice when he was questioned by HC justices, following which he was reprimanded and the PIL junked. Ramaswamy has been a headache for Sasikala as she commenced machinations to control the AIADMK. In December, he had filed a PIL seeking that Jayalalithaa’s body be exhumed for postmortem. Prior to that, he had sought details from the government on Jayalalithaa’s health during her long hospitalization.

 

The Hindu recently reported that local residents of Poes Garden claim that the police deployment there is higher than during the time of Jayalalithaa’s stint in power. This highlights the nervousness of Sasikala and her supporters; policemen at the location claim that compared with the time Jayalalithaa lived, only sparse crowds come to greet Sasikala.