Chennai: The Tiruvallur district Anti-Land Grab Cell arrested DMDK MLA Arun Subramaniam on charges of blocking the pathway leading toward an Irula tribal settlement, during the wee hours of Wednesday. Police sources said the action was necessitated following a petition submitted by Irula Tribal Welfare Association president Prabhu to Tiruvallur Collector Ashish Chatterjee regarding the obstruction of the pathway. It said that a compound wall had been constructed, which was meant for a school run by the MLA.
Chatterjee then directed Municipal Commissioner Parthasarathy to look into the allegation and submit a report. The report suggested that the accused had indeed encroached about 4,000 sq feet of land, obstructing the pathway leading to the settlement. Following this, a formal complaint from the municipality was lodged with the police on Tuesday, based on which, a case was registered under Section 447 (criminal trespassing) of Indian Penal Code and Section 3(1)(14) (denying customary right of passage) of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
A team of police officials arrived at the MLA’s residence in Thiruthani around 4 am. He was picked up and taken to a police station in Tiruvallur. He was later produced before a Tiruvallur Magistrate at the latter’s residence around 11 am. The magistrate remanded the accused to judicial custody for 15 days. The MLA was then taken to Puzhal to be lodged there. Subramaniam was the first MLA from the DMDK to be arrested on charges of land-grabbing. Sources said that he had fixed the wedding of his second daughter with the son of an AIADMK MLA last week.
Meanwhile, Cuddalore police registered a case against another DMDK MLA, Tamil Alagan, for attacking a police station in that district and are proceeding with the investigation.
Strongly condemning the arrest of Arun Subramanian, DMDK founder and Leader of Opposition Vijayakant on Wednesday charged that the action had shown that the AIADMK government was indulging in vendetta politics. The present government had been foisting cases of land grab on many and now its attention had turned towards the DMDK, he said.
Vijayakant said ever since Subramaniam was elected to the Assembly, he had been earning the goodwill of the people of his constituency. The arrest had ulterior motives, he added.