Monday, 6 October 2014

Jayalalithaa in jail: AIADMK men undertake a 350km 'spiritual journey' to protest

CHENNAI: Like any other AIADMK member, they too were shattered by the imprisonment of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and party supremo J Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate assets case.

But unlike several others, they didn't express their shock by damaging public property or by shouting slogans or by taking any extreme step.

Madhil R Perumal, party's ward secretary in Ramavaram (ward number 5), and Sean Duvier, a party member, wanted to express their shock in a different way - by walking from Chennai to Parapana Aghara prison in Bangalore where Jayalalilthaa has been lodged since September 27.

Clad in black dress and holding AIADMK flags and a banner, Perumal (36) and Sean (48) set out for their 350-km walk "in search of justice for Amma" from Chennai on October 1, the day when the vacation bench of the Karnataka high court adjourned her bail plea to October 7.

"We want justice for Amma. We want to convey the message that she was wrongly sentenced. It's our own silent way of expressing our solidarity with Amma. We started our journey on foot from Chennai," said Sean, a cab service operator in Chennai.

As their "Aravazhi Nadapayanam" (spiritual padayatra), progressed, another party member, Soundarajan (29), joined them, extending his support to their protest. "I was impressed by their protest and I joined them at Poonamallee," Soundarajan, a painter by profession, said.

As several AIADMK functionaries and thousands of others shuttled between Chennai and Bangalore in SUVs and air-conditioned buses, these three men walked under the hot sun. They walked more than 60 km per day.

They trio, who crossed Krishnagiri on Monday morning, hoped to reach Bangalore on Tuesday night.

"We will not return to Chennai until Amma gets bail," Perumal said.

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