Thursday, Nov 13, 2003
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The following is the text of the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa's letter to the Union Home Minister, L.K. Advani:
"I have received a disturbing message from the Director-General of Police informing me that the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, Shri Harminder Singh, spoke to him on Tuesday evening to convey that you have decided to deploy some Central Security Force at `The Hindu' office and at the residence of the Editor, Mr. N. Ram. This direction of yours is absolutely unwarranted and an extremely unfortunate one. I presume you have not been posted with the correct information leading to this move. It will be extremely unfortunate if this precipitate action is taken.
"As you are aware, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on 7-11-2003 had passed Resolutions on the Breach of Privilege committed by the Editor, Executive Editor, Publisher, Chief of Bureau & Article Writer and Special Correspondent of The Hindu. The warrants against the concerned persons were not executed. Meanwhile, based on a Writ Petition filed in the Supreme Court of India by the Writ Petitioners, the Apex Court by its interim orders on 10-11-2003 ordered stay of the execution of the Arrest Warrants. It is pertinent to note that even in their pleadings before the Supreme Court, the Writ Petitioners had not at any time alleged lack of security or threat to their lives in the State of Tamil Nadu. The orders of the Apex Court are being fully complied with and implemented by the State Police. The very fact that this has been brought up to you only after two days by Mr. N. Ram clearly shows that it is his intention to blow up the whole situation and twist it in his favour to misguide the public and try to aggravate the situation which is totally normal.
"This being so, it is most unfortunate that you have chosen to direct that Central Security Force be deployed at `The Hindu' office and at the residence of the Editor, Mr. N. Ram, especially when the matter is sub-judice at the level of the Supreme Court.
"The Government headed by me is known for its record of ensuring that Tamil Nadu is one of the most peaceful States in India, upholding the rule of law, and maintaining perfect law and order. It is unfortunate that the Ministry of Home Affairs which is directly under you has thought it fit to pander to the exaggerated media hype created by The Hindu group and Mr. N. Ram who has sought to whip up a frenzy blowing the entire matter out of proportion. This move by your Ministry is totally unwarranted and against the spirit of federalism. There is absolutely no threat to Mr. N. Ram or to `The Hindu' office as is being made out by the media.
"This decision of the Home Ministry would imply that the State Government cannot be trusted on a subject which is exclusively a State subject.
"You are probably not aware that Mr. N. Ram is accorded security on the `X' Scale already by the State Government and this has been in position right through. Despite this, any despatch of Central Security Force would cast a malicious slur on the State and cause irreparable damage to Centre-State relations. I trust you will see the merit in these irrefutable facts and refrain from any hasty action.
"May I suggest that the direction to deploy the Central Security Force be rescinded forthwith?"
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
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