Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002
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By S. Vijay Kumar
P.S. Ram Mohan Rao
With pressure mounting from `various' quarters, the Government may initiate action against Mr. Prasad, who ordered the lathicharge, according to highly-placed officials. The Commissioner, according to the sources, called on the Governor, P.S. Ramamohan Rao, here on Sunday.
Since the DMK chief, M. Karunanidhi, has sought the intervention of the Governor and the Centre, perceptible action would not only defuse the situation, but also avoid embarrassment, the sources said. As the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, returned to Chennai from Hyderabad tonight, a decision is expected in a day or two. The arrest of 104 DMK men, including the former Speaker, P.T.R. Palanivel Rajan, and the Madurai Mayor, C. Ramachandran, booked under `attempt to murder' cases, has irked officials at the top, who are perplexed as to why not a single ruling party worker was taken into custody.
The demand for action against Mr. Prasad has gained momentum with Mr. Karunanidhi, writing to the Governor seeking suspension of the police officer and an inquiry into the incident.
The DMK is still awaiting response from the Raj Bhavan, since Mr. Rao, who was in Madurai in the last two days, left for Chennai only this evening. The reasons as to why the police allowed two `community feeding' functions to take place on the same street, within a short distance, has raised many eyebrows.
``If the gruel distribution to weavers was forced to stop, why was the biryani feast allowed to continue for a longer duration,'' a top official wondered.
All the DMK workers arrested on Friday, including Mr. Rajan and Mr. Ramachandran, are still in the Madurai central prison. Their bail petition was dismissed by the Second Judicial Magistrate today. A fresh petition has been filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, who is yet to fix the date for arguments, according to police sources.
M.V.N. Surya Prasad
After three days, relatives and partymen were allowed to meet them during routine visiting hours. The former Law Minister, Aladi Aruna, met Mr. Rajan. Partymen booked under Section 307 of IPC (attempt to murder) are being treated as `political criminal prisoners' and interview to visitors would be allowed only on three days a week, according to jail sources.
Meanwhile, all the five DMK leaders hospitalised, were arrested by the Sellur police today. Security personnel were posted at the hospital as they were still undergoing treatment.
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