Bitter Experience: DMK leaders recall midnight arrest of M Karunanidhi
As pressure mounts on the state to try the policemen responsible for the Sathankulam custodial deaths, principal opposition party DMK has gone on a trip down the memory lane to popularise “police brutality” in the state.
DMK party organ Murasoli on Tuesday dedicated a half page article to recall the infamous arrest of its former party president M Karunanidhi on June 30, 2001, to emphasize police excess in the AIADMK regime.
The article recalls in detail as to how unsympathetic “cops” had forcibly arrested Karunanidhi and roughed up then union minister Murasoli Maran and TR Baalu during the arrest.
The DMK party organ had also reproduced the famous observation of Judge Ashok Kumar who had wondered, “If your (police) hearts were made of muscles or mud.”
Taking cue from their party mouthpiece, some of the party leaders used the anniversary of the arrest to criticize the state police. Central Chennai MP Dayanidhi Maran posted a video of Karunanidhi’s midnight arrest with a photograph of him bearing the poster with the phrase #ArrestKillersOfJayarajAndBennix.
Senior advocate and Rajya Sabha MP P Wilson, for his part, posted old articles of the arrest and tweeted, “Police brutality was seen when few police officers manhandled #Kalaignar during his arrest on June 29, 2001 midnight.”
He also faulted the Sathankulam magistrate who remanded the father-son duo to judicial custody and said, “The #sattankulam magistrate shouldn’t have mechanically remanded. The Judicial check under Art 22 is thrown to winds.” A DMK leader who circulated the video of the arrest on WhatsApp, said, “A day to remember the police excess on our beloved leader M Karunanidhi on June 30, 2001. And still they have not changed.”
Writer cum MP (South Chennai) Thamizhachi Thangapandian, sporting a black dress and poster demanding the arrest of the killers of the father-son duo, paraphrased the order of the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court, suggesting availability of prima facie evidence to book murder case against the cops.