A tense situation prevailed in front of the Dharmapuri Government Medical College Hospital (DGMCH) on Thursday after a group of lawyers were denied entry into the hospital to see the body of Ilavarasan.
Lawyers P. Damayanthi and S. Senkodi, after meeting CPI leader R. Nallakkannu in the town (who was denied permission by the police to meet the parents of Ilavarasan at the hospital), tried to enter the hospital but were denied permission. A police official stopped them and asked for their identity, leading to heated arguments.
Lawyer S. Rajnikanth, representing the Ilavarasan’s family, and who is also in the Centre for Advocates Forum for Human Rights reached the hospital, along with the parents of Ilavarasan and their relatives, and raised slogans against the police officials.
Sensing the situation going out of hand, the police removed the agitating lawyers forcibly. The relatives and parents of Ilavarasan also boarded a vehicle along with the lawyers. On reaching the town police station, police asked the parents to leave saying that they had arrested only the lawyers and others for violating the prohibhitory orders promulgated by the District Collector, soon after Ilavarasan’s death.
When Ilavarasan’s father refused to leave, he was virtually lifted by the police and taken to Natham Colony.
When the police tried to lift Ilavarasan’s mother E. Krishnaveni, she fainted at the police station, sparking further tension.
After some time, with the help of relatives, the police took Krishnaveni also to Natham colony. The lawyers got into heated arguments with the police at the police station. Six lawyers, including Ms. Senkodi, Ms. Damayanti and Mr. Rajinikanth, and nine other relatives of Ilavarasan were arrested.
The Dharmapuri town police have registered a case under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 188 (disobedience to a lawful order promulgated by a public servant), 353 (preventing a government servant from discharging duty), 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code read with 151 Cr.PC (arrest to prevent commission of a cognizable offence) and 7 (1) A of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. The arrested persons were produced before the Judicial Magistrate I, K. Gopinath who remanded them in judicial custody for 15 days.
Late in the evening, Natham residents began a fast condemning the arrest of lawyers Rajinikanth and five others.