Jaya gets cracking on land-grab cases | india | Hindustan Times
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Jaya gets cracking on land-grab cases

Two former DMK ministers and party chief M Karunanidhi's daughter-in-law are among those facing charges of land grabbing in Tamil Nadu.

india Updated: Jul 23, 2011 00:39 IST
KV Lakshmana

Two former DMK ministers and party chief M Karunanidhi's daughter-in-law are among those facing charges of land grabbing in Tamil Nadu.

Within just two months of taking up her job, CM J Jayalalithaa has started acting on her election promise: Cracking the whip on alleged land grabbers.

From the grassroots party functionaries to senior leaders who wielded influence due to their proximity to Karunanidhi or his elder son and Union chemicals and fertilisers minister MK Alagiri, many are trying to secure bail.

So far, 196 cases have been registered and action is being taken against the alleged culprits, some 25% of whom are politicians, mostly of the DMK.

"But politicians of all parties are involved in land grabbing," said a senior police official.

Among the DMK bigwigs seeking advance bail include former agriculture minister and Karunanidhi's close aide Veerapandi Arumugam, and former transport minister KN Nehru. These two former ministers also face complaints of misusing their official positions.

Two AIADMK functionaries, now expelled from the party, have been named in the FIR against Arumugam.

But the most talked-about action is in the temple town of Madurai, Alagiri's constituency.

Here, his wife, Kanthi Alagiri, has been accused of grabbing land belonging to a temple, and the police have begun investigating the case after the chief minister's office received a complaint against her.

This apart, four of Alagiri's supporters are in jail on similar charges. On Tuesday, the police arrested and lodged them in the Madurai central jail, where Alagiri visited the four and promised support.