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Arrest move politically motivated: Vaiko

CHENNAI, July 3. Even as the MDMK general secretary, Vaiko, claimed that the move to arrest him under the Prevention of Terrorism Act was "politically motivated" and that he would not be cowed down by threats, the AIADMK Government today began cracking down on pro-LTTE activists and Tamil nationalists.

In a fax message from Chicago, U.S., Mr. Vaiko, reacting to the letter written by the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, said he was being targeted because he had attacked her vehemently in his recent speeches.

The State police, meanwhile, arrested an LTTE sympathiser, R. Pavannan, leader of the Tamil Mandram, at Pudukottai for making an ``inflammatory speech'' at a meeting in Erode. He was one of those who courted arrest at Pudukottai recently after attempting to burn copies of the State Government resolution seeking extradition of the LTTE leader, V. Prabakaran.

Mr. Vaiko, while pointing out that he had suffered imprisonment for one year under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act, said he had gone to jail 23 times, and neither the threat of POTA nor oppression could browbeat the MDMK. At the same time, he had never been involved in any violence. ``I will never involve myself in any violence in the future also.''

The MDMK raised its voice for Sri Lankan Tamils ``who have been undergoing untold sufferings, miseries and ethnic genocide for decades.'' But the party never indulged in violence, nor had it encouraged any violence in the State.

As the Sri Lankan Government had consistently deceived the Tamils, the younger generation of Tamils resorted to an armed struggle, ``which has been the weapon of all oppressed people all over the world and in history''.

Mr. Vaiko said the activities of the MDMK were an open book. ``On the same basis, resolutions have been passed at our conferences, rallies, general council and executive committee,'' he pointed out. ``The MDMK is not functioning secretly or in concealment.''

In this context, the MDMK leader recalled that he had opposed the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution seeking the extradition of Mr. Prabakaran.

Even in Parliament, during the debate on Gujarat, the Opposition, which could not answer his pointed questions, branded him a ``conspirator'' and raised the issue of his support to the LTTE.

``I said that I supported the Liberation Tigers, who are fighting for the rights of the Tamils in Eelam.'' He reiterated the same view at Tirumangalam and Madurai too.

No surprise: DMK

The DMK president, M.Karunanidhi, said the AIADMK Government's ``threat'' to arrest Mr. Vaiko was ``not surprising.'' During the last AIADMK regime, the DMK leader, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, and her husband, Jagadeesan, were arrested under the Terrorism and Disruptive (Prevention) Activities Act and kept in prison for a year, he said and added that the DMK opposed use of the TADA or the POTA to achieve ``political ends''.

The PMK founder, S. Ramadoss, also criticised the AIADMK Government move, saying it was an attempt to divert the people's attention from real issues.

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