Hours after the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar M Karunanidhi, DMK lawyers on Tuesday moved the Madras High Court seeking permission to bury the party patriarch at Anna Square on Marina Beach, next to the Anna Memorial. This, after the state government denied a Marina burial for Karunanidhi, and said that it would allot land opposite Anna University in Gandhi Mandapam for the burial.
The Acting Chief Justice, HG Ramesh, and Justice SS Sundar held an emergency hearing on the issue at the ACJ’s residence on Tuesday night, and the hearing went on till past 1 am on Wednesday. The hearing was then adjourned to 8am on Wednesday.
While the TN government cited several ongoing cases against building memorials on Marina and said that allotting space there could lead to legal complications, the people who had filed these petitions withdrew them on Tuesday night.
Advocating Duraiswamy, while withdrawing four petitions regarding burials at the Marina beach said, “My petitions have nothing to do with Anna samadhi – which has been declared a crematorium and is not a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) violation. However, the petition is being used as an excuse by the TN government to deny a burial to Karunanidhi near Anna Samadhi, and therefore I’m withdrawing my four petitions.”
All but one petitions regarding burials at the Marina have been withdrawn; Traffic Ramaswamy, whose petition is the only one in court, has also said that he has no objection to Karunanidhi being buried near Anna samadhi.
The two-judge bench will continue hearing the DMK's petition at 8am on Wednesday.
The state government decision's has been drawing flak from leaders cutting across party lines including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, MDMK's Vaiko, DMDK's Vijayakanth and PMK's S Ramadoss, who favoured a memorial on the Marina Beach. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and the CPI(M) also joined the chorus. Both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have also joined the Marina for Kalaignar chorus.
Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s mortal remains have been taken to Rajaji Hall in Chennai where several leaders including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam paid their last respects on Wednesday morning. They were accompanied by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal, Minister for Fisheries D Jayakumar, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai and other party leaders.
(With IANS inputs)