"The prison authorities are verbally and behaviourally ill-treating DMK functionaries as if they are convicts and in various manner such as keeping them in a place where no ordinary human being can stay," the petition said.
The petition signed by DMK Treasurer and former Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin and some others, had been sent to President Pratibha Patil, Chairperson of NHRC, State Human Rights Commission, Governor K Rosaiah and state Chief Secretary.
Senior DMK leaders and former ministers Veerapandi S Arumugam, K N Nehru, K Ponmudi, K P P Samy and NKKP Raja besides J Anbazhagan and Soundarapandian MLAs have been arrested in the crackdown launched by the AIADMK Government on land grabbing. Samy was arrested in a murder case.
The petition alleged that the jailed leaders were not even allowed to take ''life saving drugs'' at appropriate time and prison authorities dictated them not to wear dhotis with black and red border, the party's flag colour.
"In total, the prison officials, for obvious reasons, are adopting unjust, unfair and illegal methods by bending the rules regulating their powers at their whims and fancies," it charged.
The ''breaches'' being committed by prison authorities ''clearly reveal'' violation of Fundamental Rights guaranteed under relevant Articles of Constitution of India, they said.
"Hence, we humbly request you to take appropriate and necessary action without any delay to protect the human rights and fundamental rights of DMK functionaries including legislators who are kept inside various prisons," they prayed.