Jayalalithaa’s ex-aide Sasikala’s husband Natarajan remanded to judicial custody till March 2

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Thanjavur:  A local court today remanded M Natarajan, husband of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s estranged aide Sasikala to judicial custody till March 2. He was arrested in Chennai by Thanjavur police on Saturday in a land grabbing case.

Judicial Magistrate Murugan passed the remand order when Mr Natarajan was produced before him today.

Mr Natarajan has, however, maintained that he is innocent and that he is being held under false charges.

“False cases have been foisted against my family. We would quietly struggle even if I’m put behind bars for a year,” he said.

Mr Natarajan was arrested after a complaint was lodged by Ramalingam, a farmer, who accused Mr Nataranjan of grabbing 15,000 sq ft of his land.

As per the complaint, some men- allegedly at the instigation of Natarajan- occupied land measuring around 10,000 sq ft in Thanjavur belonging to Ramalingam and threatened him when he had asked them to vacate the land.

The arrest took place a few hours after Ms Sasikala reportedly gave a clean chit to CM Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case in a Bangalore court.

Mr Nataranjan is the second member from Ms Sasikala’s family to be arrested this month. Earlier in February, her brother Diwakaran was arrested in Thiruvarur district for allegedly demolishing a woman’s house in Rishiyur village.

The Chief Minister had recently expelled Sasikala Natarajan and 11 of her relatives from her party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). No reason was officially given for the drastic step, but the move was seen by many as an attempt by Ms Jayalalithaa to reign in an increasingly powerful Sasikala. There were complaints that Ms Natarajan and her family were trying to dominate matters in the AIADMK and attempting to influence government functioning. Those who were handed the pink slip included Ms Sasikala’s husband, Mr Natarajan and her nephew and former MP T T V Mr Dinakaran.

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