The police registered a case against 30 persons including District Panchayat Vice-Chairman A.K. Palanivel of AIADMK and arrested eight of them on Thursday for their alleged involvement in felling trees and demolishing the house owned by a woman over a land dispute. A case was initially registered by the Puduchatram police and later transferred to the District Crime Branch (DCB).

The police sources said that R. Chitra (37) of AK Samudram near Puduchatram in Namakkal district was married to Madeshwaran (45) of Attur about 18 years ago. “Chitra’s father Ramasamy registered his 5.5 acre of land in the name of Madeshwaran in 2000. The couple got separated following which about half the land was returned to Chitra,” the police said.

A case was pending in court over the remaining portion of the land.

According to the complaint lodged by Chitra with the Puduchatram police, about 30 persons led by Madeshwaran and Palanivel came to Chitra’s land, cut all the coconut trees and demolished her house on July 1. While the police were investigating, Chitra sent a petition to the Chief Minister and the Inspector General of Police seeking justice and action against the persons involved.

The DCB police arrested Madeshwaran, his relative Arunachalam (60), owner of earthmovers used for eviction Chidambaram (35), drivers Murugan (21), Balu (22) and Periyasamy (47) and the owners of the tractors Ganesan and Selvaraj. A search is on for the remaining persons. The police seized three earthmovers, three tractors and a truck.