//Human rights activist, Kolathur Mani held in TN

Human rights activist, Kolathur Mani held in TN

Chennai, March 2: In what is seen as an effort to please the ruling Congress party at Centre, the DMK government in Tamil Nadu, which at the time of the 2004 election eagerly courted its parental Dravidar Kazhagam (DK) outfits in an effort to oust the AIADMK led by Miss J Jayalalitha, has today ordered arrest of a prominent leader of the same outfit.

After the arrest of film director Mr Seeman under the National Security Act (NSA), alleging that he had made anti-India statements, the Tamil Nadu government today arrested Mr Kolathur Mani, a well-known Human Rights activist and chief of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam for his speech sympathising with Eelam Tamils in the Sri Lankan Island. Mr Mani made the speech in Dindigul last month. It was one among the many he made in various parts of the state since the war broke out recently in Sri Lanka between the Lankan government and the LTTE.

Mr Mani was arrested early in the morning from his residence at Salem. Speaking to reporters shortly before his arrest, Mr Mani said that he was being arrested for criticising the Congress at a public meeting. Mr Mani said he had charged the Congress government in Centre of supplying arms to the Sri Lankan government.

Last week, film director, Mr Seeman, whose fiery speeches had become much sought after, was arrested under the NSA, after he allegedly gave a speech critical of the Indian government while speaking among Lawyers in Puducherry. While he remains locked up in Puducherry, cases have been filed in several police stations in Tamil Nadu against Mr Seeman for allegedly making anti-India comments. Mr Seeman has denied the charge. Mr Seeman was arrested earlier too under similar charges and was on bail.

Some of the speakers on the issue spoken across Tamil Nadu have vowed to wipe out the Congress in Tamil Nadu in the coming parliamentary election. With the sentiments raising against the Congress, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mr M Karunanidhi had threatened last week that the NSA would be invoked against those making speeches against India.

Since November last, the Tamil Nadu government has been acting in vain arresting prominent citizens who were found speaking on the Lankan issue.

Statesman News Service