Says no question of permitting Aranmula airport

Kerala has become a safe haven for all sorts of mafia and rowdy gangs under the United Democratic Front (UDF) rule, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said.

Mr. Balakrishnan was inaugurating a march taken out to the office of the Superintendent of Police here on Friday by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) district committee in protest against the alleged police excesses.

The law-and-order situation would be badly hit if the police machinery acted in favour of the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, he alleged. The police under the UDF rule were scared of the Muslim and Hindu extremists, ultimately plunging the State into a helpless state of anarchy, Mr. Balakrishnan alleged.

The CPI(M) leader alleged that women were not safe in Kerala and life of the woman police personnel who were supposed to ensure protection of women too had become highly insecure. The police had been siding with the culprits who had attacked a woman police official in Ernakulam. A film actress was attacked in Kollam. If a celebrity like Shwetha Menon could not stand firm in her complaint against a Congress MP, there was no point in talking about the plight of ordinary women folk, he said.

The CPI(M) leader alleged that a Union Minister’s wife had to slap a Youth Congress worker in Thiruvananthapuram for misbehaving with her. Ironically, the State police had miserably failed to take action against those who had misbehaved with the Minister’s wife, he alleged.

Mr. Balakrishnan alleged that the Director General of Police (DGP) had lost control over the police force. Though the DGP had proposed shifting of the Superintendent of Police and three Deputy Superintendents of Police from Kannur a month ago, the government had not taken any action on the same, he alleged.

K. Ananthagopan, CPI(M) district secretary, presided.

Kasturirangan report

Earlier, addressing a Meet-the-Press programme at the Pathanamthitta Press Club, Mr. Balakrishnan called upon the Union government to abandon the Kasturirangan panel report on the Western Ghats.

The CPI(M) leader said the State needed development that protected the environment. The State had no Forest Minister and the Chief Minister had little time to devote for Forest department.

Mr. Balakrishnan said there was no question of permitting any one to set up an airport at Aranmula sabotaging the Land Reforms Act. Many Congress workers had come out against the controversial airport project at Aranmula and the CPI(M) would be happy to work with them to protect the paddy land and wetland in Aranmula.

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