KERALA

Probe KVVES charges: Council

Staff Reporter

On alleged planning of fire at S.M. Street



Crime Branch had ruled sabotage, says councillor

Resolution urges Centre to withdraw oil price hike



Kozhikode: The City Corporation Council, on Tuesday, urged Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to order a probe into the allegation by Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samiti (KVVES) State president T. Nazirudeen that the fire on Moideen Palli Road, adjacent to Sweet Meat Street, on April 5, 2007 was a planned incident.

A resolution to this effect was unanimously adopted at a meeting of the council in the afternoon. The resolution was moved by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member P.T. Rajan and seconded by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) member P. Mamukoya Haji. Mayor M. Bhaskaran chaired the session.

As soon as the council assembled for its daily deliberations, CPI(M) member P. Divakaran raised the issue through a calling attention motion. He said Mr. Nazirudeen’s statement should not be left unnoticed as the Kozhikode Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department Special Investigation Group-III that probed the case had almost completed its investigation and was planning to submit its report to the court. The Crime Branch had ruled out the possibility of sabotage in the incident.

Nine persons were killed, more than 50 others injured and property estimate at Rs.15 crore destroyed in the fire.

Mr. Nazirudeen had alleged that the Chief Town Planner, soon after the incident, proposed a sketch to build a shopping mall on the site, Mr. Divakaran said.

CPI (M) councillor V.V. Sivadasan said Mr. Nazirudeen should be prosecuted for hiding evidence.

‘Collect evidence’

C.K. Renuka Devi said Mr. Nazirudeen had not revealed what evidence he had in connection with the fire.

P.K. Nazer of the CPI(M) said the investigating agency should interrogate Mr. Nazirudeen and collect evidence, if any, from him.

Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef said the KVVES took over the reconstruction of shops ignoring the views of other traders’ organisations.

Opposition walkout

The meeting saw Opposition members belonging to the Congress and the IUML stage a walkout after the Mayor refused them permission to table a resolution seeking that the State government increase the number of seats in Plus Two and start new courses in higher secondary schools in north Kerala.

The Mayor said the government had already taken a decision to increase the number of seats. Several seats remained unfilled when the government increased the number of seats by 20 per cent last year, Mr. Bhaskaran said.

The council also adopted a resolution asking the Centre to withdraw the hike in prices of petroleum products. CPI(M) councillor M.C. Anil Kumar moved the resolution. Congress member P.K. Mamu Koya said the Centre had no option but to hike the prices of petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas.