Gangster attempts to join BJP in Vandalur, flees on seeing police

Six others with knives nabbed at a party event attended by State president L. Murugan.

Updated - September 01, 2020 04:25 pm IST

Published - August 31, 2020 11:59 pm IST - CHENNAI

The BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit, which has come under criticism for inducting history-sheeters into the party fold, faced embarrassment on Monday after a notorious gangster ‘Red Hills’ Surya came to join the party at an event attended by State president L. Murugan at Vandalur but fled on seeing the police.

The Chengalpattu district police, who got information of his presence at the event, rushed a special team to the spot. On noticing them, Surya fled in a car, police said. However, six others who were at the venue with knives were nabbed. Police are investigating if they are connected to Surya.

BJP members staged a protest outside the police station. Party State general secretary K.T. Raghavan told The Hindu that they wanted the police to release two party members who were taken to the police station along with the six persons. “Those two are our party members. We did not seek the release of the six,” he said.

According to police, Surya has more than 50 criminal cases for various offences, including murder, attempt to murder and using explosives. Recently, gangsters Kalvettu Ravi and Sathyaraj had joined the party.

Asked about Monday’s incident, Mr. Raghavan said hundreds of people were joining the BJP on a daily basis and it was difficult to vet everybody’s credentials. “None of these persons have joined separately. When there is an influx of members, one or two cases end up like this. We are being cautious about this,” he said.

Vanathi Srinivasan, State vice-president, said in the instance of Kalvettu Ravi, he had openly said he wanted to turn over a new leaf. “If you look at the DMK and the AIADMK, they too have people with criminal cases against them. A narrative is being created that only rowdies are joining the BJP. A large number of people with very good backgrounds are joining us as well,” she said.

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