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Chief Minister defends Goondas Act on activists

Detention of May 17 Movement co-ordinator G Thirumurugan and three others under the Goondas Act, a policeman slapping a woman TASMAC protester and Police welfare were among other issues raised during the debate on demand for grants for the Police and Fire and Rescue Services Personnel on Thursday in the Assembly.

Chief Minister defends Goondas Act on activists
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Leader of Opposition MK Stalin, who underwent a cataract surgery, comes to the Assembly

Chennai

Replying to DMK MLA J Anbazhagan on invoking Goondas on Thirumurugan and others for observing a candle light vigil on the Marina, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami observed that cops had to act since Thirumurugan took out the ‘protest’ despite knowing that Marina remained out of bounds for any kind of protests. 

Anbazhagan reiterated that it was only an observance and the state should consider their release as the lot did not deserve such a harsh treatment. On promoting the DSP, who was in the news for slapping women protesting against TASMAC, the CM termed it as a spur of the moment reaction of the cop. He blamed the women in question and said she had hurled a volley of verbal abuses besides using physical force on the DSP, whose priority was to rescue a legislator. 

Deputy Leader of Opposition Durai Murugan suggested that the CM need not simply read out from police report. For that the CM replied that a proper inquiry into the incident by an RDO had given a clean chit to the official. 

Earlier, Durai Murugan raked up the issue of women police involved in ‘bandobust’ not having access to toilets, House Marshals being forced to take late-lunches, police officers disgruntled over delay in promotions and suicide of DSP Vishnupriya while probing the murder of a Dalit in 2015.

Where is DGP and CoP?

Before initiating the debate, the Opposition leader took objections to the DGP and City Police Commissioner absent from the gallery and demanded them to be present. Durai Murugan stood his ground stating it was the tradition of the House that the said officers must be present when the debate for Home was being taken up. 

Even as he was told by the treasury benches that he could resume his speech as the secretaries of the concerned department were already present, the said officials, who were in the lobby, took their seats in the gallery. 

Speaker P Dhanapal observed that House Marshals were provided lunch in the Assembly canteen besides other refreshments. 49,574 cops promoted in consecutive regimes Reeling out statistics, the Chief Minister said a total of 49,574 personnel were promoted by the government between May 16, 2011 and June 30, 2017, ranging from DGP to grade II police constables.  

‘Vishnupriya Suicide Note tells all’ On the death of the DSP, Palaniswami said, “Vishnupriya’s suicide note recovered from her house observed ‘none is responsible for my death’ and has also appealed to the media that her suicide should not be linked to the “important case,” in which she was the Investigating Officer.” 

“The CB-CID which had initially probed the case had referred the ‘note’ for a forensic test which concluded it as her handwriting and that there were no additions or deletions in the letter post-suicide,” he added. The CM observed that the case had been transferred to the CBI following a court order and is under probe.

Bill to empower Metro Water executive director introduced

Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani on Thursday introduced a Bill to amend the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Act (CMWSSA), 1978, in the Assembly, to facilitate appointment of an Executive Director (ED) as one of the whole-time Directors of Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). “As the directorship of the ED in the said board on whole-time and as a member in all the statutory Committees are absolutely necessary, the government has decided to include the ED as a whole-time director of the board as well as a member in other committees. It has been decided to amend the CMWSS Act for the said purpose, the Bill stated.

OPS group seeks opportunity to speak

The MLAs led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday met the Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal and sought an opportunity to speak in the present session of the Assembly, which has taken up demand for grants for various departments. Sources said the group also enquired about the health of the Speaker, who was hospitalised on Tuesday and Wednesday and resumed the Chair on Thursday. It is learnt the Speaker had assured to look into the matter. 

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