Chief Minister N. Rangasamy has assured a delegation led by French Consul General Lise Talbot Barré that steps would be taken to address security concerns they face regarding their safety or protection of property.
The Consul General, accompanied by Chantal Samuel-David, President of the Consular Council, and Prédibane Siva, Councillor, Assembly of French Nationals Abroad, met the Chief Minister to apprise him of certain issues faced by French citizens who own property in the city.
“While land-grabbing cases have come down with stricter enforcement of the rule of law, sporadic incidents continue to cause anxiety among the French community, especially those settled in France who return to their homes every year or at longer intervals”, said Ms. Chantal.
With the return of many French citizens since July after almost two years of absence due to the COVID-19 disruption, there have been a rise in complaints about some of them, especially elderly persons, receiving threats or extortion demands for accessing their own houses or of tenants refusing to vacate.
“The Chief Minister’s message of support is reassuring to not only the French community in this city but to those in France who have ties to this place”, said Ms. Chantal.
Besides, an estimated 3,000 French citizens in the city, there is a substantial population of residents in France having ties to Puducherry.
It is also pointed out that many French citizens remain largely unaware of the legal processes for restoring an alienated right, the delay in getting justice and are also generally wary of going to the police.
“Alongside providing basic legal literacy, we are also trying to impress upon the community, the imperative of devising means of ensuring that their property is not left in a state of neglect and of avoiding any adverse situation reaching a critical stage”, she added.
Meanwhile, a press note from the Consulate said the Chief Minister had assured the Consul General of his full support. He also reiterated the great importance he attaches to the well-being of the French community and to the peaceful coexistence, which is the specificity and the richness of the city, the note said.