Slain former DMK Minister buried at his home town

Stalin gheraoed at Kiruttinan's funeral

Madurai

May 22 2003

Angry and grief-stricken DMK supporters today gheraoed their youth wing leader M K Stalin and also raised slogans against his brother M K Azhagiri when the former came to pay his last respects during the funeral of T Kiruttinan, the former DMK Minister who was hacked to death here Tuesday.

Even as Kiruttinan's body was buried at his home town of Kombukaranenthal near here, a palpable air of tension and tumult prevailed over the presence of Stalin, who has airdashed here from the US. Angry DMK supporters openly shouted slogans holding Azhagiri responsible for Kiruttinan's murder.

It is general belief that Kiruttinan's murder was a fall-out of the growing rivalry in the DMK between the two sons M Karunanidhi. Azhagiri is already in the prison, having been arrested yesterday on charges of 'conspiring to murder Kiruttinan'. Earlier, Stalin paid floral tributes to the mortal remains of Kiruttinan before it was taken on a ceremonial procession to the crematorium. The funeral was also attended by senior DMK leaders K Anbhazhagan, Veerasamy along with hundreds of party functionaries. Kirrutinan was hacked to death by unidentified men during his morning walk at Anna Nagar here. The murder came just before Madurai district party elections. After postmortem, the body of Kiruttinan was brought to Kombukaranenthal to enable the public to pay their last respects. Kiruttinan's son Tholkappiyan, who was working in USA, arrived this morning along with Stalin, who had been to the US to visit ailing Union Minister Murasoli Maran. A huge posse of police was posted in and around Kombukaranenthal to prevent any untoward incident during the funeral procession.

Around 400 police personnel headed by Ramanathapuram DIG Ashok Kumar Singh looked after the security arrangements. Earlier, Union Minister of State for Shipping Thirunavukkarasar, Union Minister T R Baalu, DMK general secretary Anbhazhagan, treasurer Arcot Veerasamy, deputy general secretary Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, TNCC president S Balakrishnan, Congress MP Sudharsan Nachiappan, former DMK Ministers Ko Si Mani , Ponmudi, Durai Murugan and I Periyasamy paid their last respects.

Heat wave in Pondy

Pondicherry May 22 2003

With mercury hovering around 109 degrees F today, heat wave swept across the Union Territory of Pondicherry, a coastal region. Official sources said that while temperature was around 107 degrees F on Wednesday, it shot up today by a little over two degrees. Shopping public and merchants faced the hardship and most shopping centres wore a near forlorn look for a good part of the day.

Ramachandran rules out resignation

New Delhi

May 23 2003

A day after his personal assistant was arrested for allegedly accepting bribe for fixing an official transfer, Union Minister of State for Finance, Gingee Ramachandran, today ruled out his resignation saying his conscience was clear.

"I an not going to resign. My conscience is clear," he told reporters shortly after his arrival from Chennai when he was asked in the wake of the arrest of his PA, Perumalswamy, and a senior Income Tax official, Anurag Vardhan, who allegedly paid bribe for the transfer through a Chartered Accountant in Chennai, who acted as a conduit.

Ramachandran said he had not spoken to the Prime Minister as yet, nor has the PM asked him anything. He said R Perumalswamy alias Babu, was a political PA and he had nothing to do with official files. With a Cabinet reshuffle slated for tomorrow, the Minister is said to be under pressure to put in his papers, sources said.