Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri on Wednesday visited the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionaries, who were arrested on charges of land grabbing, at the Palayamkottai Central Prison.

“I visited them as they are all my friends,” a visibly upset Mr. Alagiri told reporters waiting on the prison premises after spending about 25 minutes with the accused from 10.50 a.m.

After their arrest in Madurai on Tuesday, party Madurai City district secretary G. Thalapathy, DMK general council member Suresh Babu alias ‘Pottu' Suresh and DMK functionaries Kodi. Chandrasekaran and Krishna Pandi were brought to Palayamkottai Central Prison around 1.15 a.m.

The Union Minister, who came to the prison in his Range Rover with the beacon light flashing and the national flag fluttering, said the police foisted cases on his partymen.

“Even our district secretary (Thalapathy) has said that the cases registered against them were false,” he said, when asked about the cases.

When asked whether the party functionaries in the prison were given First Class facility, he said he had not enquired with them about it.

Even before Mr. Alagiri reached the prison, Tiruchendur MLA Anita R. Radhakrishnan, Tirunelveli district DMK secretary V. Karuppasamy Pandian, Tirunelveli Mayor A.L. Subramanian were waiting inside the jail for the Minister's arrival.

Former Minister and Palayamkottai MLA T.P.M. Mohideen Khan joined the visitors with fruits and biscuits to be given to the four after Mr. Alagiri entered the prison.

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