DMK MLA, ex-minister arrested for land grabbing

DMK MLA J Anbazhagan, representing Chepauk constituency in the city, was arrested by a Tirupur police team.

Salem: In the continuing crackdown by the AIADMK government on land grabbing, former Tamil Nadu Minister and senior DMK leader Veerapandi Arumugam and his
party MLA J Anbalagan were arrested on Saturday in different cases.

A DMK strongman in the region, Arumugam was arrested by the city Crime Branch (CCB) police in a fresh land grabbing case when he appeared before it here this morning as per the anticipatory bail conditions set out by the Madras High Court
in two other cases registered earlier.

Salem Police Commissioner Chokkalingam told a news agency that Arumugam was arrested in the case registered in Annathanapatti Police Station on a land grabbing complaint against him.

The arrest of Arumugam, DMK District Secretary, triggered sporadic violence with his followers pelting stones on buses at eight places here, injuring two drivers, police said.

Police pickets have been posted throughout the district and Armed Reserve Police personnel are on patrol, they said.

Anbalagan, South Chennai DMK District Secretary, was arrested from his house in Chennai by a police team from Tirupur in an early morning swoop.

Arumugam was produced before Judicial Magistrate Srividya at her residence and remanded to 15 days judicial custody. He was taken to Coimbatore central prison.

The latest case against Arumugam relates to a complaint alleging land grabbing in Naraswathipatti locality in Salem, police said.

A Judicial Magistrate court here had enlarged Arumugam on bail on July 27 after his three-day custodial interrogation by the CCB police in connection with the earlier cases relating to land grabbing in Angammal Colony and Premier Flour

Earlier this month, the High Court had directed Arumugam to surrender before the CCB police for custodial interrogation. The magistrate court had then released him on bail on the condition that he should appear before the police at 8 am every day until further orders.

In one of its first acts after coming to power, the ruling AIADMK has launched a crackdown on alleged land grabbing during the previous DMK regime, fulfilling an
electoral promise, and set up special police cells across the state to deal with complaints from the affected people.

The move has evoked a strong reaction from the DMK with its President M Karunanidhi accusing the Jayalalithaa government of wreaking vengeance on party leaders by foisting "false" cases.

Karunanidhi accused police of interrogating Arumugam for three days despite his ill health while his son and Union Minister MK Alagiri called on the leader on Thursday.

Land grabbing cases have also been filed against former minister KN Nehru in Tiruchirappalli and several close aides of Alagiri in Madurai.

Senior IPS officer Jaffer Sait, a former state Intelligence chief and trusted aide of Karunanidhi when he was the Chief Minister, also faced the heat when police early this week raided his houses and eight others over alleged irregularities in housing board land allotment.


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