B. Kolappan

They were arrested for defying a ban on demonstration

Tiruvallur: Some members of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were arrested on Tuesday when they defied a ban and held a demonstration demanding an inquiry into alleged land-grabbing by politicians, officials and Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court P.D. Dinakaran.

Those arrested included K. Balakrishnan, general secretary of the Vivasayigal Sangam; U. Vasuki, CPI(M) central committee member; and K. Selvaraj, district secretary of the party. They were all released later. When the leaders arrived at the venue, the police said they could not go ahead with the protest as permission had been denied.

Even as both the sides entered into an argument, the leaders raised slogans and the police started picking up the cadres. The leaders said they would disperse after completing their speeches. But the police intervened again after Ms. Vasuki completed her speech.

Commotion ensued as the police forcibly picked up cadres. Mr. Balakrishnan along with others rushed to the main road and staged a dharna. All of them were arrested and kept in a marriage hall.

Mr. Selvaraj said he had sought permission to take out a procession to the Collectorate and hold a demonstration. But permission was given only for a demonstration.

On Monday night, DSP R. Murugesan pointed out that there was no reference to the subject for which permission for demonstration was sought.

The pamphlets distributed by the Vivasayigal Sangam brought it to the police’s notice that the demonstration was against Justice Dinakaran. He said the demonstration could not be allowed as the matter was sub judice.

Rejecting criticism that a Dalit Judge was being targeted, Mr. Balakrishnan said his organisation would be second to none in welcoming the elevation of a Dalit Judge.

“But the issue is not the Judge and his elevation to the Supreme Court. It is for the Centre and the Supreme Court to decide. We want the government to inquire into the issue of land-grabbing. We’re not bothered about individuals,” he said.

Mr. Balakrishan recalled how the CPI(M)’s demand for an inquiry into the Sirudhavur land-grabbing case had led to the State government constituting an inquiry commission. “Why are you hesitating now?” he asked.