Wednesday, Mar 27, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
"I regret the fact that we have failed to prevent the unfortunate incidents at Thaikkal,'' he told presspersons at Cherthala after visiting Thaikkal today morning. According to the Chief Minister, certain labour problems that had been smouldering in the area for almost a month suddenly erupted into a full-scale violence.
The authorities had conducted discussions with opposing parties but that had not solved the issue completely, noted Mr Antony. Some things happen that are beyond us, he said.
But Mr Antony protested against attempts made to portray the picture that violence was the hallmark of the UDF Government. During the previous Government's reign, several persons had died in violence in the villages of Kannur, Mr. Antony said.
The Chief Minister assured that the Government would take strong action against those who had incited violence in Thaikkal. The Government will ensure peace in the area so that people could live without fear.
On a question about the failure of the police to prevent the strike, Mr Antony said the Government would take suitable action if the police had actually failed. But there was a trend to blame the police for all incidents, he noted.
Mr Antony promised to expedite the investigation into the whereabouts of Peethambaran, an RSS worker who was reportedly missing after the violence.
Mr Antony said a committee headed by the Agriculture Minister, K.R. Gauri, had been formed to organise relief work at Thaikkal. Along with the Government's aid, the committee would mobilise funds from the public, he said.
Mr Antony arrived at Thaikkal from Alappuzha at 11 o'clock in the morning. The Chief Minster visited the houses of Vincent, Sumesh and Ratti who were killed in the incidents. He also visited the houses damaged in the violence. Several people submitted memorandums to him.
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