Culprits will not be allowed to escape: Mani

PALAKKAD, NOV. 29. The Revenue and Law Minister, K.M. Mani, has said that the Government will take the probe into the Kozhikode ice-cream parlour sex scandal forward and will not allow the guilty to escape.

Addressing a press conference here today, the Minister said the Government had already approached the High Court to get the stay on the case vacated. It hopes to get the stay vacated.

Rajya Sabha seat

Mr. Mani, who is also the chief of the Kerala Congress(M), reiterated his party's claim to the vacant Rajya Sabha seat. The Kerala Congress(M) had given up its claim to Rajya Sabha seats earlier to accommodate senior Congress leaders. Being the third biggest party in the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), the party should get the seat this time, he said.

Hill area authority

Mr. Mani said the Nelliampathy Hill Area Development Authority would be formed for the development of the hill area. As much as 100 acres of land is required for setting up the authority. The Government has asked the Agriculture Department to provide 100 acres of land from the Nelliampathy Orange Farm under it. If the authority is formed, there will be liberal financial assistance from the Central Government to help the development of the area, the Minister said.

He said a tribunal with a deputy commissioner's office would be set up in Palakkad to solve the problems of farmers who possessed forest lands that were cultivated before the Private Forests (Vesting and Assignment) Act 1970 came into force. A joint verification by the forest and revenue authorities will be conducted to know the ownership of such disputed land.

Earlier, the Minister inaugurated a `pattaya mela' in the Town Hall today. As many as 2,344 title deeds and 722 possession certificates were distributed on the occasion.

In the evening, the Minister laid the foundation for a mini civil station at Chittur.

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