Former Ministers Veerapandi S. Arumugam, K.N. Nehru, K. Ponmudi and N.K.K.P. Raja, besides MLAs J. Anbazhagan and Soundarapandian have been arrested in land grab cases.

With his party leaders and functionaries being arrested on charges of land grabbing across the State, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M. Karunanidhi on Saturday said that it was up to the party's legal wing to save the organisation.

At a meeting of the DMK legal wing here, Mr. Karunanidhi said that party lawyers should believe in their ability and successfully argue cases on behalf of party activists. “The legal wing has the huge responsibility of protecting the movement and must not seek funds from the party headquarters (for taking up cases). After losing the Assembly elections, the party was “poor” and did not have funds to spare.

Use RTI as a tool

Drawing reference to legal wing secretary R.S. Bharathi's remark that party workers should raise 100 queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act for each case, Mr. Karunanidhi said that they should pose questions to officials and police and seek to send shivers down their spine. The information sought should be such that the officials would be afraid of their fate in future, and this fear itself could act as a safety tool.

He said the party could not be destroyed even during the Emergency when there was no certainty that an arrested man would return home alive.

“Even then, the DMK flourished and grew stronger.”

The party, which was praised by leaders such as Jayaprakash Narayan for showing rare courage during the Emergency, was being targeted at present with a vengeance. Everyday, party workers learnt from newspapers with shock and pain about who were all arrested and on what charges. “Facing the cases legally is the only democratic way ahead,” Mr. Karunanidhi said and sought the help of the legal wing to tide over the present crisis.