The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member and MP, Brinda Karat, was detained by the police at Tirupparankundram on Saturday morning when she was on her way to Uthapuram village in Madurai district. Ms. Brinda had planned to visit the residence of one Ponniah, a Dalit of the village.

The police had denied permission for a meeting with Dalits who have been facing discrimination for years with an 'untouchability wall' dividing their habitations and that of caste Hindus. After two hours of detention, she was allowed to proceed to Uthapuram.

The police, stopped her convoy at Tirupparankundram near Madurai at around 7.30 a.m., citing law and order problem in and around Usilampati and Tirumangalam since Friday following stone pelting incidents during death anniversary celebration of Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran.

When she was told that she would be arrested if she proceeded to Uthapuram CPI (M) cadres squatted on the road. Ms. Brinda, along with a few CPI (M) members, including U. Vasuki, State general secretary, All India Democratic Women's Association, was taken to the Tirupparankundram police station.

Ms. Brinda alleged that after being allowed to proceed to Uthapuram, the police' attitude was strange. She claimed that she was arrested under various Sections of Indian Penal Code, including unlawful assembly.

The CPI (M) leader, who launched the centenary celebration of E. M. S. Namboodiripad in Madurai on Friday night, was proceeding to Rajapalayam to address a conference organised by the AIDWA.