Monday, May 4, 2009

Madurai: Blatant bribing of voters by DMK , violence unleashed / Stiff resistance by CPI(M) and allies

MADURAI: Thousands of Cadres of AIADMK - CPI(M) - CPI- MDMK- PMK blocked roads here early on Sunday morning, alleging that the city police failed to prevent ruling DMK partymen from distributing money to voters. Subsequently, vehicular traffic was disrupted for more than two hours. Similar protests were held at three places in the Madurai rural district.

At least three activists of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) sustained bleeding injuries after they were attacked by an armed mob of DMK on A.A. Road at Arapalayam in the morning when they squatted on the road protesting against "police inaction". Their ire turned against the police as they claimed they were assaulted in the presence of policemen. Senior police officials, including the Deputy Commissioner (Law and Order), K. Thondiraj, faced criticism from the protestors. A few women complained that bribing of voters went on unabated near the Arapalayam bus stand even as the protest was going on.

Meanwhile, the district secretaries, R. Annadurai (CPI-M), Sellur K. Raju (AIADMK), M. Boominathan (MDMK) and M. Saravanan (CPI) led their party cadres in a massive road block near the Crime Branch Office and on the Tirupparankundram road, cutting the vehicular movement between Palanganatham and Periyar bus stand. "The police did not register cases; in some places they let the culprits go", comrade Annadurai said. Similar protests were held at Oomachikulam, Chatrapatti and Paravai.

After many rounds of talks with police, the cadres started raising slogans when Commissioner of Police K. Nandabalan said that efforts would be made to arrest the culprits within two days.

Later, addressing the protestors, Mr. Raju said the anti-social elements had come from Dindigul, Theni and Virudhunagar districts. On Saturday night, six persons were caught red-handed while distributing money in Othakadai and as many as 221 covers containing Rs. 500 each were seized from them. Each voter was given Rs. 500, they said.

The accused along with the money were handed over to the police.

Similar allegations came up in different parts of the district police and city police limits.

"At Chockalingapuram our men rounded up a DMK worker with money inside a house," Annadurai said. The CPI(M) leaders have put the cadres of alliance parties on high alert to prevent money distribution planned by the DMK, he added.

The rural police have registered seven cases against the DMK cadres under Sections 171(b) and 188 of the Indian Penal Code at Othakadai, Samayanallur, Kottampatti, Melavalavu and Nagamalai Pudukottai.

Eight of them were remanded, the police said.

Bribing shows DMK will be defeated : N.Varadharajan

Distribution of money to voters only indicated that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was on the verge of defeat, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary, N. Varadarajan, has said.

Talking to reporters here on Sunday, he said that the ruling party had unleashed violence in the city while distributing money. The Election Commission should ensure that the Madurai Lok Sabha polls were conducted in a free and fair manner.

Comrade Varadarajan said that the Madurai city Commissioner of Police "failed" to take any action. He said the party would seek legal course of action if the city police did not initiate proper action. Varadarajan also addressed a massive demonstration in which leaders and cadres of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led alliance parties participated to protest the money "distribution" to voters and the police "inaction" here later in the day.

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