They, however, say that they have not made any request for security
Two senior functionaries of rival camps in Salem district unit of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have been provided with round-the-clock police protection.
The city police intelligence section, according to highly placed sources, had stumbled upon some “credible information” that the lives of S.R. Sivalingam, district secretary in-charge and a close aide of late leader Veerapandi S. Arumugam, and R. Rajendiran, State youth wing deputy secretary and a staunch Stalin-loyalist, were under threat. “We have provided them protection as a deterrent measure,” said a senior police official. The threat has come as a surprise to party functionaries as both were working together of late though they belonged to rival camps.
The two functionaries, however, told The Hindu separately that they had never sought police protection.
“A senior official met me at my house two days ago and told me that they had received information that my life is in danger. They, however, did not elaborate on it. I did not refuse it,” said Mr. Sivalingam, who has taken over the district leadership after the demise of Veerapandi Arumugam last year.
Mr. Rajendiran alias Panamarathupatti Rajendiran, a loyalist-turned-foe of Arumugam, said this was not new to him since he had been in the Stalin camp. “I have been facing such situation even when our party was in power. I was given armed guard for 24 hours. When the government changed, it was withdrawn. Now they have provided security, which I never asked for,” he claimed. He, however, said that he could see “suspicious movement” among cadre at his meetings.
The claims of these functionaries have exposed the internecine activities that the Salem unit of the DMK has been witnessing for quite some time, especially after the demise of Arumugam. “The appointment of Mr. Sivalingam as party’s district in-charge has angered a few persons who were close to power centres till last year,” said another senior leader.
Police Commissioner K. C. Mahali, when contacted, said since the police had received “specific information” about the threats, patrolling had been stepped up in the areas.