The plan to arrest the DMK’s Trichy strongman KN Nehru was kept a closely-guarded secret even though a complaint against him in a land-grabbing case was lodged with the police a few days back. Assistant police commissioner RM Madhavan, exclusively dealing with landgrab cases, was given the sensitive job of leading the pre-dawn operation.
Detailing the high drama that preceded Nehru’s arrest from his Thillainagar residence in Trichy, Madhavan told TOI that the police waited in cars in front Nehru’s residence from 3am and kept a close watch on him. When the lights came on at 5.30am, a servant came out of the front gate. Madhavan walked up to him and asked whether Nehru was in. The servant, Madhavan said, replied that ‘Anna’ was “out of town.”
Not convinced by the reply, a police team forced their way into the house where they found Nehru in his bedroom. When the police informed him that they had come to execute the arrest warrant against him, a cool, calm Nehru expressed surprise, Madhavan said. “I don’t think I have done anything wrong,” he quoted the former minister as saying. When Madhavan explained the case details, Nehru retorted that it was a false case, at which point, the police team advised him to fight the case in the court of law. Nehru instantly cooperated, the police officer said.
By then, the police had also swooped down on two other key associates of Nehru — former MLA Anbil Periyasamy and businessman Sunderarajulu and took them into custody. By 7am, all of them were taken to the K K Nagar Armed Reserve Police Grounds where some DMK partymen had assembled. They raised slogans against chief minister J Jayalalithaa and shouted, “Don’t’ foist cases on us.” It was a planned move to arrest Nehru and his close associates without leaking the news to the media until the legal formalities were completed.
Union minister MK Alagiri, who was in Trichy to meet DMK functionaries lodged in prison on land-grabbing charges, reacted angrily to the news of the arrests. He said, “The government is picking up DMK partymen like the corporation squad chasing and hunting down stray dogs. Once we come back to power, the first thing will do is to launch cases against the very officials who are now hand-in-glove with the oppressive government in foisting cases.”
Explaining the charges against Nehru, city police commissioner E Ma Masanamuthu said the complainant, Dr K Srinivasan (55), “hails from a well-respected family of doctors.” Srinivasan has accused Nehru of usurping nearly 14,000 sqft of land near Trichy. “If you want to honour your leader by constructing a building, you must pay from your pocket and not with others’ money,” city police commissioner E Ma Masanamuthu told after Nehru and the others were sent to Cuddalore central prison.
It is a question, whether political leaders will take the money from their pocket for honour their leaders by constructing a building.