Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss and president G.K. Mani, along with several supporters of the party, were arrested when they tried to stage a demonstration at the Villupuram junction in defiance of police orders on Tuesday.
All of them were later taken by the State Transport Corporation buses, readily deployed for the purpose, to various marriage halls in the town and kept in detention. The entourage of Dr. Ramadoss left his Thailapuram residence by road in the morning and when it reached the Katpadi Railway Gate here the strong posse of police personnel posted there blocked it and told the PMK leader that they were arresting him.
Dr. Ramadoss told them that since party cadres were awaiting him at the railway junction he would like to go over there and get arrested. Accordingly the police let the convoy reach the junction and no sooner did the leaders arrive at the venue, the police directed them to board the vehicles kept ready there. Besides the local police, additional forces from Kancheepuram and Vellore, along with Quick Reaction Team commandos, were deployed at the junction.
The slogan raising supporters blamed the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi for fomenting trouble at Marakkanam and disrupting peace by indulging in unprovoked attacks on PMK supporters proceeding to Mamallapuram to participate in the annual Chithirai Pournami youth fete last Thursday. They held VCK followers responsible for the double death that occurred on that day.
Dr. Ramadoss told presspersons that indeed on Monday morning the police gave permission to the PMK to stage the demonstration, but the permission was withdrawn in the evening without assigning any specific reasons. However, he and his party men were keen on going ahead with the agitation as scheduled. In fact, he had come prepared for the arrest.
Referring to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s statement in the Assembly on the Marakkanam incident Dr. Ramadoss said that she simply read out the report prepared by the police which was obviously misleading and was an attempt to gloss over the lapses of the police. Such an observation, based on unfounded allegations, had hurt the feelings of two crore Vanniyars in the State, he said.
“The police should have become alert after VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan forecasted trouble in Marakkanam on Wednesday. It was a sensitive area where two persons were burnt alive in their car in 2002. The slackness in security arrangements, goof-up in traffic management in which thousands of vehicles of PMK supporters were mindlessly asked to go back and the failure of the police personnel to disperse the VCK men who blocked the East Coast Road were the causes that triggered the problem.”
Claiming that only a proper probe by an inquiry commission headed by a sitting Judge of the Madras High Court would bring out the truth in this episode, Dr Ramadoss alleged that after instigating violence VCK leader Thol. Thirumavalavan was feigning ignorance and going about knocking at the doors of political parties to give them false briefings on the incident.
After having committed all the wrongs Mr. Thirumavalavan was trying to portray the PMK in poor light. Since the PMK was keeping aloof from the national parties, and, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam these political parties did not seem to have shown any interest in finding the truth nor condemning the VCK’s misdemeanour, he said.