A DMK MLA was arrested today for allegedly opening fire during a clash over a land dispute on Saturday in Tamil Nadu's Chengalpattu. A passerby who suffered minor injuries has filed a complaint against Idhayavarman, police said. A case has been filed against another armed group as well.
An unlicensed pistol and a gun allegedly used by the Thiruporur MLA and his group have been seized. The police said the MLA fled on Saturday when they went to meet him.
"They have applied for renewal of licence. At the moment these weapons are unlicensed. Being an MLA, we let him finish his dinner but he scaled the wall and fled," a senior officer investigating the case told NDTV.
Two shots were fired during the clash. Police say one hit the bonnet of car. It was around this time, Srinivasan, a passerby on his two-wheeler, was injured and has named the MLA in his complaint, accusing him of opening fire.
Police say the land dispute took a violent turn after the MLA allegedly dug up the adjoining private land owned by one Kumar without his consent to drain water from his area. Though on Saturday morning police had counselled both sides after Kumar had filed a police complaint, the clashes took place in less than half hour even before police could reach the site.
The other group led by Kumar, police say, had around 70 people armed with sharp weapons including knives and sickles.
The MLA's father and two others have been injured as well.
MLA Idhayavarman's father Lakshmipathi has confessed to have opened fire, police say. The officer however said, "No eye witness corroborates this claim. The passerby and few others from the rival group have only seen the MLA open fire".
The MLA's group alleges use of firearms by the rival side.
There has been friction ever since the politician decided to convert his 15 acre farmland into housing plots as owners of neighbouring fields and villagers are largely not in favour of it, investigators say. An RDO probe too is pending over the last three months and on use of a temple land there.
Two men, relatives of the DMK MLA including a brother have been arrested.
Chengalpattu SP Kannan said, "We have registered complaints given by Srinivasan, Lakshmipathi, the MLA's father and Kumar - the other party. We have charged them for attempt to murder, use of deadly weapons and causing hurt. We have also invoked Arms Act."
The injured passerby, the SP claimed, is under the control of the politician, in a bid to influence him to prevent him from turning against him. The DMK MLA was not reachable for comment.