Amid high drama, Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Brinda Karat today visited a village in Madurai district, hit by caste clashes last year, after initially being refused permission by police to proceed there on the ground that her visit could trigger trouble.
As Brinda, along with activists of All India Democratic Women's Association, moved towards Uthapuram village, her car was stopped by police, who requested her not to go ahead, police officials in Madurai and Chennai said.
"However, she suddenly squatted on the road (in protest).To prevent any problem, police requested her to come to the police station for a discussion. But there too she was adamant on going to Uthapuram. Seeing this, police decided to escort her to the village," K Radhakrishnan, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), told PTI in Chennai.
He said Karat was not arrested or detained by Thirupparankundram police but they only tried to reason with her to avoid the visit due to the prevailing situation in the village.
However, she earlier told PTI, "My car was blocked in the middle of the road by police without any reason. I asked them under what order they are detaining us. They said they expect trouble in the village. I told them if there is trouble, you should arrest trouble-makers, not me."
She had said she would complain to higher officials.
Madurai district police officials said a case has been registered against Karat under various sections of the IPC, including Section 143, relating to unlawful assembly.
The state unit of the CPI(M) maintained that Karat was arrested and condemned it. State secretary N Vardarajan, in a statement, alleged that police had granted permission to the party to address the villagers, but had cancelled it at the last minute.
"This could not have been done without the knowledge of Tamil Nadu chief minister," (M Karunanidhi), he said.