Tuesday, Apr 09, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
``The telephone lines of only a list of suspects and those considered dangerous are tapped. I don't think Mr. Balasubramaniam is a danger to the country,'' she told the House.
Participating in the budget debate, the TMC legislature party leader claimed that his telephones began making ``strange noises'' after he informed the Government of the threatening calls he had received for opposing moves to allow the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to hold peace negotiations with the Sri Lankan Government on Indian soil. Three police teams enquired him about the threatening calls and soon his phone began to make ``strange noises'', giving rise to a suspicion that his line was bugged, Mr. Balasubramaniam said. For, in the past also, when his phone was ``monitored'' with his concurrence, similar noises were heard, he claimed.
However, after he brought ``phone tapping'' to the notice of the Home Secretary and urged him not to resort to such measures, he received only a letter denying the claim.
Intervening, the Chief Minister said had the TMC leader brought the matter to her notice, she would have sorted it out. ``My phone also makes strange noises at times. But it does not mean it was bugged,'' she said.
But Mr. Balasubramaniam said he was not making any accusation, but only wanted to bring the matter to the notice of the Government.
Earlier, he charged that pro-LTTE elements were holding meetings in the State praising the Tamil Tigers chief and proclaimed offender, Prabakaran, and the sandalwood smuggler, Veerappan.
The Government's industrial policy should be directed at reviving employment-intensive units instead of merely attracting multinationals which did not create much job opportunities here, Mr. Balasubramaniam said.
Quoting C.N. Annadurai, he insisted that the Government drop the levy on essential commodities such as rice and wheat, besides the entry tax on cotton.
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