Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday said that the government viewed the attack on a woman IT professional in Kochi seriously and would do the needful to prevent such attacks in future.

Talking to the media after a meeting of the Cabinet, the Chief Minister said that the police had promptly reached the spot when an IT professional was manhandled in Kochi a few days ago. However, there was delay in taking action against the accused as the victim chose to file her complaint only a day after the incident. He had asked the Director-General of Police to take action if there was any lapse from the part of the police officer who went to the scene in registering the case. Action would be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Replying to questions, Mr. Chandy said that the government also viewed the presence of criminals in the police force seriously. However, the whole force could not be blamed. There were criminal in the police as in other professions.

He emphasised that the government would not allow lottery operators to plunder the people by selling lotteries from other States. “Such swindle will not be allowed even for a day when the UDF government is in power.” The government was not averse to expanding the scope of CBI enquiry sought by the State government. Only 32 cases were referred to CBI as the previous government headed by V. S. Achuthanandan had registered only 32 first information reports in five years.

While the previous government could not do anything to ensure a CBI enquiry, he had acted promptly on receipt of communication from the Centre seeking notification entrusting the cases to the CBI. He did not lose time arguing whether such a notification was actually required, but issued it in three days.

He had sent letters to both Mr. Achuthanandan and Congress leader V. D. Satheesan, who had filed the case seeking CBI enquiry, asking for their suggestions on further action. If notification of additional cases were required, that would be done taking their views into account. The only rider was that any further action should not affect the CBI probe or help the accused to escape.

The Chief Minister said that there was no reason for the apprehension that the sanctioning of new CBSE and ICSE schools would hit the government schools. The schools would not be permitted to be started in unrestrained manner. The norms fixed by CBSE and ICSE would be strictly followed. The number of applications received for new schools was less than 200. The government proposed to strengthen and protect the general education sector.

Mr. Chandy reiterated that the government had clear policy on admissions and fee structure in self-financing colleges based on social equity. Talks to ensure that would begin after this year’s admissions. The previous government had failed to settle the issues over the past five years. The present government lacked time to bring about a comprehensive settlement for admissions this year.

He recalled that the law brought by the previous government had stood the test of judicial scrutiny regarding all its provisions except that relating to fee. However, the previous government had chosen to replace it and the then Opposition had supported it believing the government’s word that the new law would stand judicial scrutiny. However, most of the provisions of that Act were struck down by courts. Mr. Chandy parried questions whether the present government would reintroduce the original legislation.

Asked about government officials not disclosing government orders to the public, the Chief Minister said that action to publish them online was being initiated. In a democracy, the ministry was responsible for ensuring proper functioning of the government and he did not propose to excuse himself by blaming officials, he said in reply to another question.