Convener to continue indefinite hunger strike

The conciliatory talks held between Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Corporation Anti-Corruption Campaign Committee members in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, for ending the indefinite hunger strike being staged by its convener K.P. Vijayakumar, failed.

Mr. Vijayakumar had begun his indefinite hunger strike near the Central Library at Mananchira here at .m. on Monday demanding that the State government constitute a special police team to investigate corruption charges against the previous and the present councils of the City Corporation.

He would continue the strike till the State government gave a written assurance on the issue, the committee members said.

The members, led by committee vice-chairman P.T. John, met the Chief Minister. Later they met Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.

They had earlier submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, who deputed Mr. Radhakrishnan to hold discussions with them.

Order to VACB

Mr. Radhakrishnan directed Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) Director Mahesh Kumar Singla to complete the investigation into the corruption charges soon and file charge sheets in the 13 cases that had already been registered.

However, the committee members urged the government to give a written promise that the charge sheets would be filed in six months. Since the government was reluctant to give such an assurance, Mr. Vijayakumar would continue with the fast, they said.

The decision to begin the hunger strike was taken as Chief Minister had failed to keep his promise to order a probe into the allegations of irregularities in the civic body for the past several years. Last year, K. Anandakanakam, committee chairperson, had undertaken an indefinite hunger strike. However, the strike was called off after 10 days on November 11, 2012, after the Chief Minister promised that a special police team would investigate all charges.

13 cases registered

Thirteen cases pertaining to irregularities against the Corporation council had already been registered before the Kozhikode Vigilance Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge here. But the VACB, which was probing the cases, was yet to file any charge sheet in court.

No arrests had been made. Investigation was also progressing in 14 other complaints. But there was an attempt to sabotage the cases as the accused were influential, the committee members said.

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