//Periyar statue issue: 2 Sena men arrested

Periyar statue issue: 2 Sena men arrested

Thursday August 31 2006 10:18 IST

DINDIGUL: A special team of the Dindigul police arrested two persons, including the Shiv Sena district secretary, on Tuesday night for allegedly smearing sandalwood paste on the statue of Periyar on Vinayaka Chathurthi day.

The other person is reportedly a Shiv Sena sympathiser. A special squad led by Dindigul Superintendent of Police A Pari arrested Dharmaraj (28), the Shiv Sena secretary, and ‘Thattuvandi’ Mani alias Manimaran (26) for allegedly smearing the statue of Periyar with sandalwood paste, thus dishonouring the ideals the late atheist fought for.

While Manimaran, a resident of Vedapatti, was arrested from the vicinity of the Murugan temple in Naickkanpatti, near here, Dharmaraj of Bharatipuram was picked up from an auto stand.

Dharmaraj had been detained under the Goondas Act previously and eight cases are pending against him, including a case of murder. Manimaran had also been booked thrice in the past.

The issue was raised in the State Assembly on Tuesday and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi assured the arrest of the persons responsible for the act.

Police sources said both the accused had been booked under Sections 120 (b), 153, 153 (a), and 290 of the IPC for hurting secular sentiments, provocation with the intention of causing riots, causing enmity between classes, indulging in conspiracy and public nuisance. Both of them were produced before a court and remanded in custody.