CMs, leaders condemn arrest

PATNA, JUNE 30. The Rashtriya Janata Dal has condemned the high- handedness of the Tamil Nadu police in arresting the former Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, today, but accused the National Democratic Alliance of adopting ``double standards'' over such issues.

The former Chief Minister and RJD president, Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav, said the Tamil Nadu police should not have behaved in such an inhuman manner as to haul Mr. Karunanidhi like an animal. They should have shown greater sensitivity, particularly while handling an ``80-year old man.''

The RJD spokesman, Mr. Shivanand Tiwari, said the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, had not spoken of rules when the Army was called in to arrest Mr. Yadav or when the CBI had raided the official residence of the Chief Minister, Mrs. Rabri Devi.

The Telecommunications Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, condemned Mr. Karunanidhi's arrest and alleged that it was vindictive in nature.

Shujaat Bukhari reports from Srinagar:

The Union Minister of State for Commerce, Mr. Omar Abdullah, condemning the action against Mr. Karunanidhi and the Union Minister for Commerce, Mr. Murasali Maran, told presspersons ``it is unfortunate. This is not democracy and even criminals are not treated like this.''

Our Mumbai Special Correspondent reports:

DMK members demonstrated in Mumbai to protest against the arrest. They demanded the dismissal of the Jaylalithaa Government and imposition of President's rule in the State in view of the ``barbaric action.''

Police arrested 15 of them, including Mr. Purko, president of the Maharashtra DMK and a leader, Mr. Appa Durai. Police pickets have been set up in front of the party office at Dharavi.

PTI, UNI report:

Deplorable, says Thackeray

The Shiv Sena supremo, Mr. Bal Thackeray, condemned the manner in which Mr. Karunanidhi was arrested in the wee hours today. ``It is a highly deplorable act,'' he said.

The Union Power Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, said ``the manner in which Mr. Karunanidhi was arrested and the treatment meted out to the two Union Ministers was very unfortunate and a deplorable act on the part of the Jayalalithaa Government.''

Condemning the arrest, the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr. Keshubhai Patel, said in a statement that such an ``indecent act of political vendetta'' was not only inhuman but also shameful for democracy.

The Orissa Chief Minister, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, said in Bhubaneshwar ``the arrest of Mr. Karunanidhi is unfortunate and deserves strong condemnation.''

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, condemned the public humiliation of the DMK leader.

The former Union Minister, Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde, said that in a democratic system, a responsible Government should not resort to vindictive action.

The former CBI Joint Director, Mr. K. Madhavan, termed as ``inhuman and sadistic'' the behaviour of police. ``I am shocked at the manner in which the police officers behaved... Despite the law that only minimum necessary force should be used while arresting any person,'' he said in a statement, adding, ``they (police) have crawled when they had only to bend.''

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