Chennai, April 11: Jayalalithaa today made it clear that she would not bow to any kind of pressure on the arrest of DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s son, M.K. Stalin.
Last year, a nation-wide uproar over the midnight arrest of Karunanidhi and his partymen had forced the chief minister to release key figures, including Murasoli Maran and T.R. Baalu. Stalin and five DMK MLAs, too, were arrested in a midnight swoop yesterday.
Most Opposition parties, including the Congress, have described the charges against the DMK chief’s son as “flimsy and trumped-up”. Anticipating a request from the Centre for a status report on the issue, Jayalalithaa hardened her stand today.
She made it clear that her government would not succumb to any collective Opposition pressure to drop the cases against Stalin and others and release them.
Jayalalithaa’s task has been made easier with the state BJP not joining the Opposition’s chorus. The BJP today refrained from joining the walkout by the Congress-led Opposition in the Assembly.
Jayalalithaa, locked in a heated wordy duel with Congress leader S.R. Balasubramoniyan, said Stalin and his associates, who had forcibly entered the Queen Mary’s College (QMC) campus to “instigate” a section of the students and had suggested that they “picket the chief minister’s convoy”, had committed “criminal trespass”.
Nakkeeran editor held
R.R. Gopal, editor of the biweekly, Nakkeeran, was arrested tonight by the state police’s crime branch.
Gopal, who played the government emissary in negotiating the release of several of Veerappan’s kidnap victims, including Kannada thespian Rajkumar, was picked up around 8 pm from his office premises, sources said. The journalist was wanted in a number of cases, including Rajkumar’s abduction after the ADMK came to power. But it is not clear yet in which case he was arrested today.