Police put up boards declaring land belongs to Highways Dept.

Tension prevailed here throughout the day on Wednesday following the demolition of a portion of the compound wall of the Mullivaikkal Memorial by the police and the Department of Highways.

The police arrested P. Nedumaran, Ulaga Thamizhar Peramaippu president, and his supporters, while Vaiko, general secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), and Seeman, founder of Naam Tamizhar Katchi, who rushed to Thanjavur, staged a sit-in on the premises of the memorial.

It all started with the police and highways officials arriving at the memorial by the break of dawn and demolishing a portion of the compound wall claiming that it was constructed on a land belonging to the Department of Highways. The police later fenced the 24,000-square feet area, which housed a park and lawns in front of the memorial, with wire mesh.

They also erected two boards in the fenced area, declaring that the area belonged to the Department of Highways.

After the police left the area, members of the Peramaippu and other organisations removed the fence and the boards. However, the police returned and re-erected the fence. Mr. Nedumaran later told presspersons that he was sleeping in a room inside the memorial, when the officials descended on the scene. His enquiries with the officials on their action did not evoke any response.

“The action of the officials is condemnable and it is illegal too. We are planning to file a case against the officials who demolished the portion of the wall,” Mr. Nedumaran said.