“Kerala indulging in false propaganda for decommissioning dam”

Apprehending danger to the Mullaperiyar dam from miscreants, Tamil Nadu moved the Supreme Court on Monday for a direction to the Union government to immediately deploy the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the dam site.

In its application, Tamil Nadu stated: “The Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, and other Ministers and its officials are repeatedly going to the Press … and making various statements on the issues which are pending consideration, and are reported to have stated that the construction of a new dam is the only solution and that the existing dam will be decommissioned.”

When the matter was pending in the Supreme Court, Kerala was indulging, through these statements, in false propaganda for decommissioning the dam and building a new dam, and it would amount to interference with the due course of law and /or obstructing the administration of justice, it said.

These statements led a mob to indulge in vandalism at the dam site, damaging the gate of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board facility on December 3. Again, on December 4, certain elements marched to the dam from Vallakadavu in Kerala with an earth-moving machine and other implements with the intention of letting out water and damaging the dam.

“These incidents are likely to escalate, warranting deployment of independent forces from the CISF. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa, in her letter [dated December 4] to the Prime Minister of India, after bringing to the notice the recent incidents of mob vandalism, stated, inter alia, that the current situation of … fear- and panic-mongering by the State of Kerala is beyond comprehension, and requires mature and informed decisions to be taken at the level of the Prime Minister.

“It was further stated that in view of the violent activities reported at the dam site, it is imperative that Central forces be deployed at the dam site immediately. The Chief Minister accordingly requested the Prime Minister to direct the deployment of the CISF at the dam site to avert any man-made catastrophic consequences immediately.”

The application said: “It is clear that the mob attacks are a direct result of the fear psychosis created without any factual foundation by the Ministers and officials of Kerala, and it is absolutely essential that attacks on the dam and electricity generation and other connected facilities are checked by Central forces. This is more so in view of the prevailing political atmosphere/climate in Kerala, where the clamour has galvanised into the unjustified demand for the construction of a new dam and decommissioning of the existing dam.”