DMK leader held on land grab charge

August 31st, 2011 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 31 (IANS) DMK leader and former higher education minister K. Ponmudi was arrested Wednesday on land grab charges, police said.

A police officer in Villupuram district told IANS that land was allotted to a housing colony, children’s park and community hall for the employees of the state transport corporation.

The land allotted for children’s park and community hall was tendered out without proper authorisation and the Siga Educational Trust, belonging to Ponmudi, took over the land.

AIADMK’s trade union wing leader Narayanasmy lodged a complaint of land grab and Ponmudi was arrested from his Villupuram home.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in Villupuram with several DMK cadres assembling outside Ponmudi’s residence when police came to arrest him.

While being escorted by the police, Ponmudi told reporters that the AIADMK government is foisting a case on him and he would face it legally.

Ponmudi is the fourth DMK minister to be arrested in land grab charges after AIADMK came to power in May. The others are Veerapandi S. Arumugam in Salem, K.N. Nehru in Tiruchirapalli and N.K.K.P. Raja in Erode.

The police have also arrested DMK legislator J. Anbazhagan and former legislator B. Ranganathan on similar charges.

The police also arrested DMK legislator Anita Radhakrishnan Aug 10 in an assault case.

On Aug 24, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in the state assembly said that the government had restored land valued at over Rs.415 crore to their owners.

Of 8,947 land grab complaints, she said, charge sheets were filed in three cases while 462 cases were booked. At least 419 people have been arrested.

The government has set up 25 special courts and fast track courts to hear the land grab cases, she added.

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