Case of murder launched against sacked minister’s supporters

September 15th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Erode (Tamil Nadu), Sep 15 (IANS) A case of murder has been launched against some of the supporters of sacked Tamil Nadu minister N.K.K.P. Raja following the death of a man allegedly kidnapped by them. “A case of murder was registered against the reported henchmen of Raja after the death of V. Chinnasamy Gounder (89), one of his kidnap victims. Gounder had been rescued by police on the court’s orders over a month ago,” a police official from Perunthurai, a village near here, told IANS.

According to Gounder’s relatives, he died due to alleged torture during his illegal custody.

Some of the suspects hold senior positions in the ruling DMK’s Erode unit.

Raja was sacked Aug 7 over a reported land grab scam after some of his kidnap victims were rescued by the police and produced before the Madras High Court and state human rights’ commission on the basis of a writ of habeas corpus.

The victims repeatedly alleged before various judicial bodies that the minister was the mastermind behind their abduction.

The rescued victims include C. Palanichamy, his wife Malarvizhi, brother Guhamani and the Gounder.

Raja, however, has denied the charges.

He claimed he was falsely implicated in the land grab case. He reportedly told the police that the other charges were false and Gounder had died of old age.

The Madras High Court had closed the case early this month after the victims were produced before it to fulfil the plea in the habeas corpus petition.

A case is pending in the Supreme Court alleging that one of Palanichamy’s brothers Sivabalan continues to remain in the illegal custody of Raja.

This textile town, situated 350 km southwest of Chennai, is in dire straits due to frequent power outages. Several land grab cases have been reported from here.

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