PUDUCHERRY: For a change Lt Governor Kiran Bedi and Chief Minister V Narayanasamy seem to be on the same page over eradication of the rowdy menace in Puducherry, which has raised its ugly head in the past decade.
While the CM, immediately after assumption of office, gave the police a free hand to take stringent action against rowdies as per law, leading to the arrest of several history-sheeters including notorious Thattanchavady Senthil, the L-G went a step further and ordered an inquiry into the failure of the civil administration and the police in the past to act on complaints of land-grabbing from residents against Thattanchavady Senthil and his associates, who had forcibly usurped properties of citizens with political patronage during the past 10 years.
Rachana Singh, SP (North), and Devansh Yadav, IAS probationer, have been entrusted with the task of inquiring and submitting a report by Dec 22 on the action taken by the police and civic authorities over the past 10 years, citing reasons for delay in justice delivery. “Whoever are the officers who have ignored the complaints (and favoured the rowdies) will be identified and disciplinary proceedings launched against them”, said Bedi. “The present police force has acted with courage against rowdies, ensuring rule of law”, she observed.
Only after the recent arrest of Senthil, two residents of Thattanchavady - Vijayalakshmi and Rathinavel - courageously lodged complaints with the L-G in the open house on December 13. They have alleged that their plots in Thattanchvady have been grabbed by anti-socials and pleaded for retrieval of their and several others’ properties in the same layout. They have also complained that some have lost their houses too, but the administration has failed to help them.
The L-G, who visited Thattanchavady on Saturday as part of her weekend round, found the complaints genuine. The legal owners of the properties submitted their grievances, stating that they had been submitting representations since 2008, but their properties were yet to be retrieved from the clutches of anti-socials.
Senior Superintendent of Police (L&O) Rajiv Ranjan briefed the L-G on the action taken by the police department in arresting Thattanchavady Senthil and his father Arjunan in a murder case. He also informed that based on a complaint from the legal owners of a property, an FIR was registered and action was in progress to restore the property.
The LG asked the legal owners of the building to occupy it and said those holding vacant plots could start building constructions with PPA approval, if they desired. It was also clarified that the attachment of property, issued by the judicial magistrate based on a request made by the police, was limited only to the property of Senthil and other legal owners (whose property had been grabbed by Senthil) who have no legal hurdle in repossessing the property.
She advised the people to form residents’ welfare associations and install security cameras and hire private security guards and also assured that police beat would be posted in localities to win the confidence of land-owners till normalcy was restored.
The L-G has also directed the police to update the history sheets of rowdies by recording the names of all associates, social or political, irrespective of caste, creed or community as per the police rules so that they can be easily traced and tracked. “It is widely believed that the rowdies enjoy political patronage “, Bedi said. No one would be spared, the L-G said, adding that Puducherry must stop making rowdyism a source of employment for the jobless.