DMK’s top brass face land grab charge

Chennai : After arresting several DMK leaders and former ministers on charges of illegally appropriating prime property, Tamil Nadu Police is now party zeroing in on president M. Karunanidhi’s son and grandson M.K. Stalin and Udayanidhi Stalin.

A case was registered against Stalin, Udayanidhi Stalin, builder Subba Reddy, Raja Shankar, Venugopal Reddy and Srinivas for threatening and coercing one N. Seshadrikumar to sell his house here.

The property, measuring around 6,000 sq ft, was registered in the name of Venugopal Reddy, said to be Stalin’s associate, for Rs.5.54 crore — less than the market price prevailing in 2010.

It is said Stalin wanted the land adjacent to his house for his daughter.

According to Seshadrikumar, police refused to register his complaint against those who threatened him last year when the DMK was still in power.

Reacting to this, Stalin said: “I will face the case legally. I had expected a case on me much earlier.”

Taking a dig at Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa against whom a corruption case of is being heard, Stalin said: “I will ask for adjournments like Jayalalithaa.”

Submitting a memorandum to state director general of police Friday, Stalin said it is Jayalalithaa who has grabbed the land of poor through her benamis in Siruthavur near here and Kodanadu in Nilgiri district.

He said in Tamil Nadu, the acronym FIR stands for Fraud Information Report.

The case against Stalin and his son are part of the numerous land grab and graft cases filed by the AIADMK government against leaders of the erstwhile DMK regime.

The state police have arrested former ministers K.N. Nehru, Veerapandi Arumugam, N.K.K.P. Raja and K. Ponmudi for land grab who are now out on bail.

Addressing a conference, Jayalalithaa said: “It is gratifying to note that many land grabbers have been brought to book and that possession has been restored to the rightful owners.

Urging police to have clinching evidence so that the case succeeds in the court, Jayalalithaa said: “The ultimate success of these cases will depend upon the success in prosecution and the final outcome.”

Addressing a rally in Tiruchirapalli recently, Jayalalithaa said after her government came to power, 17,431 land grab complaints have been received and 718 cases have been registered. She said 755 land grabbers have been held and land worth Rs.624.66 crore have been restored to rightful owners.

Speaking to IANS, DMK spokesperson T.K.S.Elangovan said: “The government has coined a new pharse ‘land grab’ and foisting of cases against DMK men. This has become a daily routine in the AIADMK rule. Even the courts have asked why a civil matter is being converted into a criminal one?”

“The party men will face the cases legally and the party will extend needed support to those who are falsely charged.”

Referring to Jayalalithaa’s claim that some property has been restored back to the rightful owners, Elangovan said: “How was that done is still not known. Were the titles to the property transferred back again to the previous owner and if so, what happened to the stamp duties paid on the sale transaction?”

He alleged the government was taking a list of property transactions registered in the past and lodging cases against DMK men.

According to police, over 20,000 land grab complaints have been received since AIADMK came to power in May.

“I don’t think the cases are part of political vendetta. The complaints are lodged by common man and the police are taking action,” political commentator Gnani said .

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