Former deputy CM and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s younger son MK Stalin was briefly detained on Saturday at Tiruvarur, 325 km from Chennai, during a protest. Two other DMK leaders, former agriculture minister Veerapandi Arumugam and Chepauk MLA J Anbazhagan were also arrested on land grab charges.
Stalin, who was on a tour of the region, was held when he and other party leaders protested the arrest of DMK district secretary Poondi Kalaivannan in connection with the death of a student on Friday.
When the police was about to arrest Kalaivannan, DMK men led by Stalin started protesting and were taken into custody. They were, however, released soon after.
Shortly after news of Stalin’s “arrest” spread, DMK leaders reacted to the event. In Tiruchy, former transport minister KN Nehru led a group of the DMK protesters.
Lashing out at CM J Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi said, “It is sheer vendetta. False cases are being foisted on our men.” He also called for a protest on August 1 against the police action.
Stalin too hit out at the ADMK government. “Jayalalithaa is trying to scare and intimidate us ahead of our August 1 protest programme.”
The DMK has announced a state-wide agitation against the ADMK government’s campaign against land grabbing.
In response to a question on arrests of DMK men, Jayalalithaa said land grab cases could not be described as vendetta politics. “Anyone involved in grabbing land will not escape punishment. There were several complaints during the DMK regime too, but no action was taken,” she said.