The ‘fill-the-jail’ stir in the city was used as an opportunity to display their strength and support to Madurai strong man in the party and Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, DMK cadres said.
A large number of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadres courted arrest near the Collector’s office here on Wednesday as part of the state-wide protest to condemn the Tamil Nadu Government for “foisting” false cases against the DMK functionaries.
Following a call given by the party high command to ‘fill-the-jail’ stir, the DMK cadres assembled in and around the Anna Bus Stand here since 9 a.m.
The DMK urban district secretary G. Thalapathi led the agitation. Senior functionaries including Pon Muthuramalingam, former MLAs S. Veluchami, Ghouse Batcha, former Mayor P. Kulandaivelu, former Deputy Mayors P.M. Mannan, ‘Misa’ M. Pandian, councillors and former councillors courted arrest including a few women cadres.
They shouted slogans against AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for detaining their leaders under Goondas Act. The people, who matter to the DMK, would not believe as the charges were nothing but bunch of lies. The arrest of DMK former ministers Veerapandi S. Arumugam and I. Periasami, Madurai urban district secretary G. Thalapathi by the police on charges of land grabbing was only an attempt to threaten the opponents. The AIADMK government is keen on fighting with its political opponents and does not seem to be bothered about the hardships faced by common man due to hike on essential commodities including petroleum products, they charged.
In rural pocket, the DMK functionaries led by former MLA P. Moorthy, former minister A. Tamilarasi, former Speaker Sedapatti R. Muthiah and a large number of cadres staged demonstration in Thirumangalam, Vadipatti, Melur, Avaniapuram and other locations. They were picked up by the police. Many cadres who courted arrest were seen carrying clothes stuffed in bags.
The police had made elaborate bandobust arrangements in the area. The TNSTC buses were used to transport the agitators led by DCP (law and order) R. Thirunavukkarasu and team in Madurai City, while Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan and team were supervising in the rural pockets. Vehicular movement was diverted for about 30 minutes in and around Anna bus stand. A large posse of men and officers deployed ensured that there were no untoward incidents, a senior officer said.
The ‘fill-the-jail’ stir in the city was used as an opportunity to display their strength and support to Madurai strong man in the party and Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, DMK cadres said. The functionaries led by Mr. Mannan came separately to the Anna Bus stand and courted arrest in the waiting buses, while those owing allegiance to party treasurer, M.K. Stalin turned up from the Kuruvikaran Salai stretch and shouted slogans before being arrested. Since Mr. Thalapathi had just come on bail in connection with a criminal case, he did not court arrest, party functionaries said.
All the arrested cadres, who were detained in Armed Reserve Grounds and kalyana mandapams were released in the evening, police said.