In a late-night operation on Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Senthil Balaji into custody, which has drawn strong criticism from Tamil Nadu ministers and DMK leaders. Despite the arrest, the ministers assert their commitment to addressing the case legally. HR&CE Minister Sekar Babu has alleged that doctors informed him of symptoms of ‘torture’ in Senthil Balaji’s condition.
Determination to Handle the Case Legally
Udhayanidhi Stalin, a Tamil Nadu minister, visited Senthil Balaji and affirmed that they will pursue legal means to address the situation. Stalin also expressed their resilience against the BJP-led central government’s intimidating politics, stating that they are not afraid.
ED Raid and Minister’s Condition
The ED conducted raids at Senthil Balaji’s residence and office located at the Secretariat on Tuesday, following which the minister was taken into custody for questioning. During the transit to Omandurar Government Hospital, Senthil Balaji reportedly experienced discomfort and broke out. He is currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
Allegations of Revenge and Wrongful Actions
Minister Ponmudi denounced the arrest as a revengeful act, suggesting that the Union government targets non-BJP ruled states such as West Bengal, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu. Minister Sekar Babu, citing PTI, revealed that Senthil Balaji is in the ICU, unconscious, and unresponsive. The doctors have observed variations in his ECG, indicating possible symptoms of torture.
Illegal Procedures and Constitutional Concerns
Senthil Balaji’s lawyer, NR Ilango, asserted that the minister has been subjected to assault, and more details will emerge after examining the report. DMK MP and advocate, NR Elango, criticized the Enforcement Directorate’s procedure as illegal and unconstitutional. He highlighted that Senthil Balaji was taken into custody without being informed of the grounds for his arrest, emphasizing their intent to fight the case through legal means.
Enhanced Security Measures
The Rapid Action Force has been deployed at Omandurar Government Hospital in Chennai, where Senthil Balaji is receiving treatment. Additionally, heavy security has been stationed near the Karur bus stand, the minister’s hometown, on Wednesday.
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