Chennai, April 12: Adding a fresh twist to the twin arrests that rocked Tamil Nadu this week, new charges have been slapped on DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s son M.K. Stalin, while Nakeeran editor R.R. Gopal has been linked to a four-year-old murder case.
Stalin has been accused of “attempt to murder” and Gopal has been charged with involvement in the killing of police informer Rajamani by Veerappan’s gang in Sathyamangalam forest.
Stalin and five DMK legislators were arrested on charges of criminal trespass into Queen Mary’s College and instigating students against the government’s move to pull down the college for a new secretariat complex.
Stalin has now been accused of attacking police personnel who had gone to arrest him at his Velacherry residence. The police were allegedly assaulted again when the DMK leader and his party MLAs were being taken to Cuddalore.
Sources said this would delay the process of Stalin getting bail even as one of the arrested MLA’s son moved a habeas corpus petition in Madras High Court to produce all the accused before the court as the manner of their arrest was questionable.
Gopal, who has played official mediator to secure the release of several of Veerappan’s victims and is wanted in a number of cases, was intercepted by the police near the Nakkeeran office around 8.30 pm on Friday.
Gopal has also been booked under Section 25(1)(B)(A) of the Arms Act for unauthorised possession of a country pistol and bullets. Police claimed to have recovered some pamphlets professing support to the banned Tamil extremist outfit, TNLA.
Gopal has also been charged under the more serious Section 124(A) of the India Penal Code for sedition.
The Nakkeeran editor was “brusquely” led into a police vehicle, the magazine’s assistant editor, Kamaraj, alleged, adding that Gopal was interrogated through the night. He was remanded in judicial custody this morning and has been lodged in Madras Central Jail, Kamaraj said.
Representatives of various journalist bodies have decided to immediately petition Madras High Court chief justice Subashan Reddy.
Gopal had been granted anticipatory bail by the high court in three important cases, including the abduction of Rajkumar in 2000, a probe into which was given a push after the Jayalalithaa-led ADMK returned to power a year later.