Vendetta at work: Five more arrests in land grabbing case

Erode:In another crackdown by Jayalalithaa's government in Tamil Nadu on Karunanidhi's aides,  former Tamil Nadu Minister and DMK leader NKK P Raja mayor of Erode, Kumar Murugesh and three others were arrested here today in connection with the land grabbing case.

Raja becomes the second minister of the previous DMK regime to be taken into custody in the continuing crackdown by the AIADMK government on land grabbing, the first being Veerapandi Arumugam who was arrested on 30 July.

 Vendetta at work: Five more arrests in land grabbing case

Cases have been registered against Raja and 11 others under various IPC sections including 420 (cheating). Screen grab from ibnlive.com

Raja, former Handloom Minister, Erode Municipal Corporation Mayor K Kumar Muruges, party's District Deputy Secretary OC Viswanathan, his son Rajendran and one Subramaniam were arrested by the Special Police for Land Grabbing Cell, at 5 am, police said.

They were taken into custody following a complaint from one Ramasamy a few days ago that Raja and 11 others, including Muruges and Viswanathan, had visited his house in 2007 and forcibly obtained his signature to sell 60.5 acres of his land at Thendralnagar in Perundurai for the amount he had borrowed from Subramaniam, police said.

He had complained that no money was paid to him, police said.

Cases have been registered against Raja and 11 others under various IPC sections including 420 (cheating).

Police said Raja was arrested from his house at Kavindapady near here and the other four at their respective houses in Erode and Perundurai. Police are on the lookout for six others.

They were taken to the Erode Land Grabbing police cell located in the district police office, where Raja told police that he was innocent, and wanted them to show him the complainant but the police said he would appear in court when the trial begins.

"False cases have been foisted against me," Raja said.

Chepauk constituency MLA J Anbazhagan, former MLA Ranganathan, his aide, and supporters of Union Minister MK Alagiri, have already been arrested on land grab charges.

The state government had formed a special cell to exclusively deal with the land grabbing cases.

Party President M Karunanidhi has termed the arrests as "vendetta politics" but Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has denied the charge, saying the special police cells were acting on "genuine" complaints by "affected" persons with no political link.

Karunanidhi had claimed that those who had filed land grab cases against his party workers did so with an intention to secure the land with an eye on the rising realty trends.

He had also alleged that no action was taken against AIADMK functionaries when similar complaints were lodged.

The DMK had staged a state-wide protest on Monday, saying police was "foisting" such cases against its members. The crackdown is the result of an electoral promise made by Jayalalithaa during the assembly elections that she would take action against land grabbing during DMK rule.

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PTI

Updated Date: Aug 04, 2011 11:39:51 IST