Friday, July 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pro-LTTE Vaiko booked under POTA

Madurai, July 4
Two days after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha declared her government’s intention to arrest MDMK chief Vaiko, MP, for his pro-LTTE utterances, the police today registered an FIR against Vaiko and eight others under POTA and unlawful activities act in what is considered to be a prelude to arresting him for his statements.

In a letter to Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani on Tuesday, Ms Jayalalitha referred to Vaiko’s speech at Thirumangalam in Madurai district on June 29 and said it attracted the provisions of POTA and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Police sources said at Madurai that a special team had been formed to nab Vaiko when he returned to India from the USA, indicating that they were all “serious” on arresting him.

This was the first time that an FIR was being filed in the state under POTA.

The police registered a case on a complaint filed by the Thirmungalam inspector Thangavelu, who said Vaiko had stated at a meeting on June 29 that he “supported the LTTE yesterday, today and would support it tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, the MDMK has convened an urgent meeting at Chennai tomorrow, to chalk out its future strategy in the wake of the latest developments.

Party treasurer and Union Minister of State for Non-Conventional Energy Sources M. Kannappan said the MDMK, since its formation, was supporting the cause of Eelam Tamils and was not aware of the reason behind the “sudden action” of the government.

The MDMK postponed its meeting to be held at Chennai tomorrow to discuss its “future strategy”.

Due to the absence of Union Minister Gingee Ramachandran and presidium president L. Ganeshan, the meeting was deferred.

Party sources said Vaiko, was cutting short his visit and was expected to reach Chennai by the end of next week.

NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Home I.D. Swamy on Thursday virtually ruled out Centre’s intervention in the case registered against Vaiko, saying that “law and order is a state subject” and the Centre did not come into the picture at all.

The BJP declined to comment on the FIR. “I would not like to say anything on the issue until I get full details and study what exactly the MDMK chief had said regarding the LTTE”, party spokesman Arun Jaitley told reporters in response to a question. PTI, UNI

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