Jail bharo a big success: M Karunanidhi

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DMK leaders, including party president M. Karunanidhi’s son M. K. Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi, and thousands of party workers courted arrest across Tamil Nadu in protest against the ‘foisting’ of cases against their party leaders —mostly landgrab cases against former ministers — and all of them were released in the evening.

Police sources said that DMK leaders and cadres were released following the direction of the chief minister. While the police stated that a total of 96,000 DMK cadres, including 13,000 women, were arrested, DMK claimed that over 2.32 lakh cadres courted arrest participating in the protest.

However, about 9,000 DMK members held in Tiruvarur, the home district of party president M. Karunanidhi, refused to leave the marriage halls where they were kept during the day, insisting that they would ‘fill the prisons’ as directed by their thalaivar.

Speaking to reporters at Anna Arivalayam on Wednesday evening, Mr Karunanidhi claimed that the protest was a big success despite government’s “intimidating tactics”.

“To reduce the participation (in the protest), they adopted tactics such as warning us with 15-day remand upon arrest or lodging in jails in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. But none was cowed down, none bothered,” he said.

DMK chief expressed surprise on the overwhelming participation of cadres in the jail bharo agitation. “I did not expect this overwhelming response. I thought one lakh people would court arrest,” he said.
“The protest is also to highlight various issues including the hike in price of milk, bus fare and electricity tariff that have seriously affected the common man,” Mr Karunanidhi said.

After being released from a marriage hall in Kolathur, party treasurer M. K. Stalin claimed that DMK cadres were released, as there was no space in the state jails to accommodate them.

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