No law and order problem in Puducherry: chief minister

December 27th, 2008 - 12:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Puducherry, Dec 27 (IANS) Puducherry Chief Minister V. Vaithyalingam Saturday dismissed reports of a law and order problem in this union territory due to “indiscipline” in the police force.”The peace here is for all to see. Boxing Day celebrations by foreigners and a tranquil life of the people is here for all to see. The central reserve police force is assisting the local force due to security concerns, but that is normal,” Vaithyalingam told IANS.

“In a nutshell, it is much ado about nothing,” he added.

However, an opposition legislator criticized the government’s record on law and order.

“This minority Congress government has failed on all counts. Murders, rapes and other crimes are at an all time high,” A. Anbazhagan, who heads the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)’s legislative and party wings here, told IANS.

He alleged the police force, angry over injustices, was also on the verge of revolt, while representatives of the media had been attacked as well.

“Since the seniormost (sessions) judge of this city (Krishna Raja) has told the (acting) Chief Justice of the Madras High Court (S.J. Mukhopadhyaya) that policemen have become a law unto themselves and need to be disciplined, it implies that this is a breakdown of law and order here,” Anbazhagan added.

Leader of Opposition A.M.H. Nazeem of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) also seconded the charges.

“The complete failure of law and order following attacks on the press by some policemen was expressed by an impartial judge in an official communication. Therefore, this government is a fit case for summary dismissal under Article 356 of the Constitution,” he said.

However, the chief minister termed the charges “non-issues”.

“The opposition is looking for nonexistent issues. This union territory is completely peaceful. The law and order situation was never challenged and never will be. Knowing fully well that this government will last till 2011, my friends in the opposition are raising non-issues,” Vaithyalingam added.

Puducherry’s top police official also dismissed the charges.

“All this is yesterday’s news. We are focussed on maintaining law and order. Some junior officials were nonplussed over a brief refusal of bail to one of their suspended colleagues and the whole thing is almost forgotten,” said Alok Kumar Verma, the newly appointed Director General of Police.

Last week, irked by the refusal of bail to a colleague suspended after being caught red-handed while allegedly accepting a bribe, junior police officials staged a demonstration in the courts here. Three journalists were injured while covering the protests.

The police official, whose bail petition was refused, has since been set free.

According to a government press statement, the journalists have been given Rs.25,000 each as compensation and their medical expenses reimbursed.

Apart from the dismissals of two home guards, 11 junior officials have been suspended and 25 transferred.

Disciplinary action against these personnel may soon follow, government sources added.

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