OTHERS

`Tamil Nadu incidents were unprecedented'

NEW DELHI, JULY 6. The situation in Tamil Nadu, following the arrest of the former Chief Minister and DMK leader, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, and the two Union Ministers, Mr. Murasoli Maran and Mr. T. R. Baalu, echoed in the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Union Home Ministry today.

Though the issue was not on the agenda, Mr. Viduthalai Virumbi, DMK Rajya Sabha member, described the situation in the State as ``grave,'' following the ``unprecedented arrest.''

He demanded that the Centre take stringent action against the State Government.

Replying to Mr. Virumbi's outburst, the Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, said the Centre had taken cognisance of the events in Tamil Nadu.

The committee members were of the view that the incidents in the State were totally uncalled for in a democratic set-up.

``It was the public sense of outrage against the developments that made the State Government retrace its steps,'' Mr. Advani was quoted, in an official release, as having told the committee members.

Dr. Karan Singh and Mr. G. M. Banatwalla disapproved of the manner in which the former Tamil Nadu Governor, Ms. Fathima Beevi, was recalled.

A majority of the members expressed the view that there should be a wider consideration of the Centre-State relations to avoid such happenings in future.

The threats by some organisations to construct a temple on the disputed site at Ayodhya also came up for discussion.

Mr. Advani told the committee members that the Centre was duty- bound to maintain status quo, as on January 7, 1993, on the site.

Till the title suits pending in the Allahabad High Court were finally disposed of, the site could not be handed over to any party, he said.

Claim concocted, says Ponnaiyan

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, JULY 6. The Tamil Nadu Minister for Finance and Law, Mr. C. Ponnaiyan, today denied the claim of Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr. Murasoli Maran, that he was attacked by the State police.

In a statement, he said ``it is a travesty of truth and a concocted story to say that police attacked him.'' Actually, it was Mr. Maran who attacked the police.

``Simply because Mr. Maran was let off from police custody and released from the cases against him, it does not mean that he is innocent. He was released only at the instance of the Government of India in the overall interest of maintaining cordial Centre- State relations,'' Mr. Ponnaiyan said.