|Sunday, July 1, 2001,
Karunanidhi held in pre-dawn swoop
Chennai, June 30
Mr Karunanidhi’s son and Chennai Mayor M. K. Stalin, prime accused in the case, surrendered before a judge while nine others including former Chief Secretary K. M. Nambiar, were taken into custody by the police in a pre-dawn swoop in the first major offensive by the AIADMK government against its principal rival DMK.
After failing to get Ms Jayalalitha on telephone, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who took a serious view of the police behaviour, talked to state Chief Secretary P. Shankar and sought a detailed report from him.
The action came under attack from political parties including DMK’s rivals.
In what is seen as a retaliatory action by Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha for her arrest in 1996 on corruption charges, sleuths of the crime branch — CID descended on the Oliver Road residence of 77-year-old Karunanidhi in posh Mylapore at 1.30 a.m. to arrest him.
Alerts were sent to Union Ministers Murasoli Maran, Mr Karunanidhi’s nephew, and Mr T.R. Balu, who rushed to the spot.
Mr Karunanidhi, who was reading till midnight, heard a commotion downstairs and saw some 10 police personnel entering his bedroom.
As Mr Maran argued with the police party, Mr Karunanidhi was shown in television shots being dragged by policemen from whom he asked for his arrest warrant. He was told it was not necessary as it was a criminal case.
The DMK chief, who was in a lungi, resisted the arrest and shouted “they are trying to murder me” as policemen dragged him out of the house.
DMK leaders alleged that Mr Karunanidhi was slapped and pushed before being bundled out.
Mr Maran, who himself has serious cardiological problems, followed Mr Karunanidhi to the crime branch headquarters where the former Chief Minister was taken for questioning. An attempt by Mr Maran to travel with Mr Karunanidhi in the police car was foiled when he was dragged and lifted out of the vehicle. Mr Maran was later admitted to the intensive care unit of Apollo Hospital.
Mr Baalu, who also tried to reason out with the policemen, was taken into custody, on charges of intimidating and preventing government officials from discharging their duty.
While Mr Karunanidhi, Mr Nambiar and two others were produced before Principal Sessions Judge Ashok Kumar, Mr Stalin surrendered himself before him fearing for his life.
The judge directed that Mr Karunanidhi should be medically examined before being declared fit for being in custody. After examination by doctors including his personal physician and declared fit, the judge remanded him and others in judicial custody till July 10.
The bail application of Mr Karunanidhi is likely to come up for hearing on July 3.
While Mr Karunanidhi, who is said to have gone on hunger strike, is being shifted to Vellore central prison, his son has been taken to Madurai jail.
Mr Baalu, against whom cases have been registered, has also been sent in judicial custody.
Following Mr Karunanidhi’s arrest, several top party leaders throughout the state have been taken into preventive custody along with thousands of workers .
In Chennai, normal bus services were operated, but there were only a few passengers. The police chased away stone-pelting crowds in many places in the state. Reports of burning of effigies of Ms Jayalalitha have also been received from several places.
Murasoli Maran arrested
Chennai, June 30
The police said Mr Maran was arrested at Appollo Hospital, where he was under treatment after a scuffle with the police this morning when DMK President and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi was arrested.
Arrest sparks off
Chennai, Jun 30
In sporadic incidents of violence, at least two public transport buses were set on fire and the windscreens of scores of others were broken by stone-throwing mobs in various parts of the state. Some suburban trains were stopped and stoned by miscreants. Police patrol has been intensified.
According to the police, two police jeeps and six buses were damaged in various places in the southern districts where the police cane-charged agitating DMK activists.
In the city, the windscreens of several buses were broken by mobs, as the news of Mr Karunanidhi’s arrest spread quickly to all corners of the state. In parts of the city shopkeepers pulled up their shutters.
Long-distance trains stopped for short periods by protesters included the Dadar Express, Sapthagiri Express and Arakkonam-Renigunta passenger, railway police sources said.
In Dindigul district, life was paralysed and buses were withdrawn after several buses were damaged. Shops and educational institutions in the district remained closed.
Two police jeeps were damaged in violence at Kulithalai and Puliyur. The police resorted to a mild lathi-charge to chase away some persons who pelted stones at a hotel near the Madurai district court.
In Tirupati in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the police was on alert to counter any violence. All Chennai-bound buses from there have been suspended as a precautionary measure.
Several hundreds of DMK workers and leaders were taken into preventive custody at several places.
PONDICHERRY: Life was affected in Pondicherry following the arrest of Mr Karunanidhi on Saturday.
All shops and other business establishments remained closed. All vehicles, except two wheelers, were off the road.
All educational institutions declared a holiday today. A large number of DMK workers, including Mr Jankiraman and legislators Siva and Mr C. P. Thirunavukkarasu, MP, were arrested when they took out a march to stop the Pondicherry-Villippuram passenger train.
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