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Aug 10, 2011 at 09:07pm IST

Alagiri's wife grabs temple land in Madurai

Chennai: Documentary evidence has revealed the full extent of the land grabbing allegations against Union Minister and Karunanidhi's son MK Alagiri's family. CNN-IBN has accessed documents to show how Alagiri's wife bought temple land worth over Rs 20 crore for just Rs 85 lakh from a man facing over 50 criminal cases.

Kanthi Alagiri bought land from lottery king Santiago Martin after MK Alagiri became Union Minister.

Moreover, the land belongs to a temple and as per law cannot even be sold. Yet it is now part of the Alagiri family property.

So how did Karunanidhi's elder son Alagiri's wife get the land at such a low price?

CNN-IBN has documents to show that Santiago Martin, a local lottery baron, facing over 50 criminal cases, could be the key to the truth.

In 2001 Martin forged documents to take over the temple land and Held possession despite protests from the temple for nine years. He used his political clout and muscle power to intimidate those who opposed him

In 2010 when Alagiri became Union Minister, his wife Kanthi struck a deal with Martin, taking over land worth Rs 24 crore for just Rs 85 lakh.

"It's a temple property. Santiago Martin illegally claimed ownership of this land and now it has been transferred and registered in the name of Kanthi Alagiri, wife of Union Minister MK Alagiri. We demand the government to retrieve our temple land and hand it over to the temple trust. We hope Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will take action upon my complaint," said Annasamaradhanai Trust Temple priest S Subramaniam.

But the deal raises serious questions like - why did Alagiri's wife enter into a land deal with a man facing 50 criminal cases? Was the land sold cheap in return for favours given to Martin's business? Why did Karunanidhi's daughter in law buy land grabbed from a temple?

Alagiri, however, denied the allegations and said, "All properties acquired by my family members were bought through legal transactions and they have been properly accounted".

The DMK claims that the allegations are politically motivated. But it's not just the case of one piece to land bought by Alagiri's wife, there are several Alagiri aides who have now been arrested on criminal charges linked to land grabbing.

Alagiri's key aide and confidante Pottu Suresh and Madurai Urban District Secretary Thalapathy, have been arrested for allegedly forcing a couple to sell their 5 acre land in Tirumangalam.

Attack Pandi, another key aide, has been arrested on complaints of extortion and cheating.

Pandi and Suresh have both been detained under the goondas act and Alagiri even met them in jail openly admitting they were his friends.

Known for his money and muscle power and control over Madurai, these allegations only dent Alagiri's image further. It's also one more set of serious allegations against the DMK's first family.

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