TN govt arrests Vaiko, Kannappan for supporting LTTE

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Chennai, Oct 23 (UNI) A day after the Opposition AIADMK and DMK's ally, Congress, accused the DMK regime of ignoring the rising pro-LTTE acts, the Tamil Nadu government swung into action and arrested Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko and its Presidium Chairman M Kannappan for supporting the banned outfit.

A ''Q'' Branch police team, dealing with extremists and terrorist outfits, arrested Mr Vaiko at his Annanagar residence, on charges of sedition and for supporting the banned outfit under Sec 124-A of the IPC (sedition) and 13(1)(e) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Minutes after the arrest of Mr Vaiko, another team of the ''Q'' Branch police, arrested Mr Kannappan at his residence at Alampalayam near Pollachi in Coimbatore district. He was also charged with similar offence.

The two arrests came in the wake of their pro-LTTE remarks made at the October 21 public meeting organised by the MDMK on ''What is happening in Sri Lanka''. While Mr Vaiko threatened to take up an arms struggle for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils, Mr Kannappan warned that the demand for a separate Tamil Nadu would be revived if the Centre failed to take any steps to protect the Eelam Tamils.

Immediately after the arrest, Mr Vaiko was produced before the George Town Seventh Metropolitan Magistrate Ravi and remanded in judicial custody till November 6. He was later lodged in Puzhal Central Prison.

Meanwhile, Mr Kannappan was being brought to the city for judicial remand.

If the charges of sedition are proved, Mr Vaiko and Mr Kannappan would be punished with life imprisonment with a fine or three years jail term and a fine or with a fine alone.

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