Row over resting place for Karunanidhi

Row over resting place for Karunanidhi


Even as the Kauvery Hospital embalmed Karunanidhi’s body before taking it to his Gopalapuram residence, thousands of cadres assembled outside got restive as news spread that the Government had refused to allow his mortal remains to be buried by the side of party founder C N Annadurai in the memorial on the Marina.

Angry partymen removed the barricades and raised slogans against the government but the police dispersed them without using force.

Leader of the Opposition and DMK working president M K Stalin met the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy in this regard earlier in the day, but Chief Minister could not oblige them as there was a legal hurdle.

The Government said there was a legal problem in allotting a place in the Anna Memorial on the Marina as a case against allowing any more leader to be buried there was pending in the Madras High Court. It said instead the government was prepared to allot two acres of land in the Gandhi Mandapam in Guindy.

One of the petitioners, Traffic Ramaswamy withdrew his petition in the court on Tuesday morning and the DMK lawyers said they would persuade the other petitioner also to withdraw the case.

As the Government stood firm on its stand, the DMK decided to move the High Court on Wednesday morning to get special permission to bury Karunanidhi in the memorial.

Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, who frowned on the practice on burying leaders in the memorial, marring the beauty of the Marina Beach, has since been elevated to the Supreme Court and another bench is now hearing the case.

Besides Annadurai, AIADMK leaders M G Ramachandran and Jayalalitha have been laid to rest in the memorial. As the ambulance carrying the embalmed body of Karunanidhi to his Gopalapuram residence, left the hospital at 9 p.m., it had to inch forward as hundreds of flag-waving party men marched ahead of it, shouting, “We want Marina Memorial for our leader”.

The DMK announced that the body of Karunanidhi would be kept in his Gopalapuram residence till 1 a.m. on Wednesday to enable his close relatives to pay their last respects. Later, it would be taken to his CIT Colony house where his second wife Rajathi lives and kept there till four in the morning on Wednesday.

From there, the mortal remains would be taken to Rajaji Hall where it would lie in State to enable party men and the public to pay homage.