Village chiefs' body seeks probe into Thengaithittu caning

Special Correspondent

Police lathicharge on villagers at Thengaithittu on April 13 condemned

Puducherry: The Federation of the Puducherry State Village Panchayat Presidents has called upon the administration to order a judicial enquiry into the police caning of villagers in Thengaithittu on April 13 when they took out a procession against the Government's plan to construct a deep sea port in the village.

Deputy Convener of the Federation and chairman of Karikalambakkam Village panchayat G. A. Jagannathan said the Federation on Sunday adopted a resolution condemning the police action against the procession (in which an effigy of Health and Port Minister E Valasaraj was burnt at the Mudaliarpet main road). The meeting urged the Government to give up the port development plan as it would have a serious impact on the village and also on agriculture and the environment. Another resolution urged the administration to implement the amended Municipal and Commune Panchayats Acts in Puducherry as they would meet the demands of local bodies for demarcation of powers.

Mr. Jagannathan said that the meeting also expressed disappointment over the failure of the Government to earmark funds for local bodies in the budget. Nothing had been done to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the Chief Minister signed with the Union Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar here in January this year for devolution of powers to civic bodies.

A number of councillors and members of local bodies of Puducherry would observe a token fast in Delhi on May 20 to draw the attention of the Centre to the predicament of the municipal councillors and other functionaries of local bodies for want of powers and authorities to run the panchayats.

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