Former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi was taken into custody by the crime branch, the criminal investigation department of the state police, in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday and remanded to judicial custody till July 10.
Karunanidhi was dragged, screaming and kicking, out of his residence even as family members and close friends, including Union Commerce Minister Murasoli Maran, clashed with the police party.
Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin, and 12 ministers of the DMK government that held power till the recent electoral defeat at the hands of Jayalalitha Jayaram's AIADMK, have also been arrested.
Journalists who had gone to the CB-CID headquarters to cover the arrest were also detained.
Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin has also been remanded to judicial custody.
The former chief minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president has been arrested in connection with the Rs 12 crore (Rs 120 million) 'flyover scam'.
Karunanidhi and his son has been remanded to judicial custody till July 10. The judge further posted the hearing on his bail petition to July 3.
Meanwhile, reports said that the former chief minister has gone on a hunger strike in protest against the administration's decision to shift him from the Madras central jail to the Vellore jail. The administration has already shifted M K Stalin to the Madurai jail.
Opposition members of the Madras corporation, where the DMK is in a majority, had recently submitted a memorandum to Governor Fatima Beevi alleging irregularities in awarding contracts for the construction of 10 flyovers in the city.
The First Information Report (FIR), based on the complaint lodged by Corporation Commissioner J C T Acharyalu, was filed only on Friday, according to police sources.
Madras citizens woke to graphic images of the Karunanidhi detention. Sun TV, owned by Murasoli Maran's son Kalanidhi, has been flashing clips of Karunanidhi being dragged from his home, of being manhandled and slapped and at one point, crumpling to the ground.
Sun TV has also been flashing telephone numbers of the Prime Minister's Office and the chief minister's secretariat, asking citizens to phone in and register their protest.
In Madurai, hundreds of senior leaders of the DMK, including former speaker P T R Palanivelrajan, city Mayor P Kulandaivelu, Karunanidhi's son M K Azhagiri, Ramanathapuram Rajya Sabha MP M A Kader and former minister K N Nehru were arrested by the police from their respective residences early on Saturday.
Police said hundreds of senior DMK leaders and party functionaries had been taken into preventive custody, even as tension prevailed in most parts of the southern districts where buses were off the road and shops were closed.
Several educational institutes have also been shut down, fearing trouble.
With inputs from agencies
Karunanidhi's Arrest: The Complete Coverage
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