CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu police early Wednesday arrested DMK Lok Sabha MP and Tamil actor J K Ritheesh on charges of grabbing land. He was picked up from his residence in Mylapore in Chennai by police of the land grab cell in Kancheepuram district, neighbouring Chennai.
Ritheesh’s arrest is among a spate of arrests of DMK heavy-weights, including former ministers and senior leaders. As per procedure, the state police will have to send an intimation to the Lok Sabha Speaker about the arrest.
The MP’s arrest is based on a complaint by a villager Samikannu of Paapankuli hamlet of Kancheepuram district. Samikannu alleged that Ritheesh had forged some documents, grabbed a parcel of land spread across 1.47 acres belonging to him and sold it for about Rs 1.5 crore. On the basis of Samikannu’s complaint, the Kancheepuram police booked Ritheesh under several IPC sections including cheating, forgery and intimidation.
ADSP V Baskaran told TOI, “Ritheesh had forged a power deed using Samikannu’s photo and signature. We have verified the signature and the thumb impression of Samikannu and we found that it was forged.” Ritheesh sold the land through a company he owns called Hathor Realtors Pvt Ltd. “We have informed the Lok Sabha Speaker, secretary and other appropriate offices,” the police officer said.
Ritheesh was elected for the first time to the Lok Sabha from the Ramanathapuram constituency in the 2009 elections. Soon after assuming charge in May this year, the AIADMK government launched a major crackdown on land sharks, mostly DMK partymen and sympathisers. Specials courts have also been formed for trying these cases.