Special Correspondent

‘The government will never allow communal rioting’

All parties except BJP, attended the meeting

KANNUR: Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said the district police have been instructed to use any weapons, including firearms, at its disposal to act against forces trying to unleash communal violence here.

Addressing a press conference after a peace meeting attended by people’s representatives, leaders of political parties and top police and civil officials at the Collectorate Conference Hall here on Tuesday, Mr. Balakrishnan said the political leadership in the district unanimously demanded stern action against any attempt to carry out violent activities aimed at destroying communal harmony here. “The police force is free to use any weapons to repress those indulging in violence to break communal harmony here,” he said adding that the police had been given such weapons in the first place to deal with similar situations.

Special police team

Stating that restoration of peace in this town and nearby areas was the priority of the government, the Minister said that a special police team headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) would be constituted to probe the recent incidents of violence in the town and adjacent areas.

The special team would include six Dy.SPs and six Circle Inspectors. Deputy Inspector General S. Gopinath had been deputed to the district on special duty, while the Inspector General of Police (Kannur Range) V. Santharam would coordinate law and order, he said.

“The government will never allow communal rioting,” the Minister said, adding that the unfortunate incidents that had taken place here were apparently planned with a communal angle. Total 24 incidents, including attacks on shops and arson, were reported, he said.

The Minister, who earlier visited the places that had come under attack, including the two furniture showrooms torched by rival groups of arsonists, said the loss was estimated at Rs.3 crore. The Minister said that all parties, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party, attended the meeting.