Poll official brings twist in tale

Making a U-turn, an election official on whose complaint an assault case has been registered against the Union minister, Mr M.K. Alagiri, on Monday claimed he was not roughed up by ruling party activists who accompanied the DMK strongman during his controversial temple visit in the district on Friday.

In a fax message to the Election Commission, Mr M. Kalimuthu, tahsildar and assistant returning officer for the Melur Assembly segment, alleged that only the local police created the complaint against Mr Alagiri and others and what had happened in the temple was different.
Based on Mr Kalimuthu’s complaint, the police had registered a case against Mr Alagiri and 52 other DMK men for offences, including causing hurt to deter public servant from doing his duty and wrongful restraint.
Mr Kalimuthu had alleged he and a videographer who recorded the visit of Mr Alagiri to the temple in Keezhavalavu were roughed up in the presence of the Union minister, considered the strongman of DMK in the southern districts and chief architect of its successive wins in bypolls in the region in last five years.
The official had even repeated the charge on a private TV channel. Condemning the alleged attack, Revenue Officials Association had demanded protection to poll personnel.
Four main accused in the case, including Mr Alagiri and the deputy mayor of Madurai, Mr P.M. Manan, had obtained anticipatory bail from the Madras High Court Bench here.
Doing a volte-face in his communication on Monday, Mr Kalimuthu said Mr Alagiri had only told him not to come inside the temple with footwear.
Mr Alagiri left the place after asking him and the videographer not to come inside the temple with footwear and they were not roughed up, Mr Kalimuthu said. — PTI

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