TAMIL NADU

State MPs meet Manmohan, seek CBI probe into stampede

ORDER CBI PROBE: DPA MPs from Tamil Nadu submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday.

ORDER CBI PROBE: DPA MPs from Tamil Nadu submitting a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday.  

J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: A delegation of Members of Parliament belonging to the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the stampede in Chennai

In a memorandum, the members of both Houses of Parliament urged the Centre to seek a factual report from the Tamil Nadu Governor on "the failure of law and order situation in the State which resulted in stampede."

It said the incident was the third of its kind in the past two months. The first stampede deaths were reported two months ago, when the State Government was disbursing relief money to the flood-affected people of Vyasarpadi area. Six persons lost their lives. The second incident in Mylapore claimed two lives.

Commissioner blamed

"Even after these two incidents, the City Police Commissioner did not care to provide sufficient bandobust at MGR Nagar where 42 persons lost their lives. Instead, the Commissioner chose to prefer false charges against the Opposition parties. The Commissioner of Police is acting as a stooge of the ruling party. Hence, his holding the responsible office of the Commissioner of Police will only lead to failure of law and order in the city," the memorandum stated.

The MPs alleged that the Commissioner Natraj, "instead of deposing anything before the Commission of Inquiry," had given a false statement to the media blaming the DMK. He had alleged that about 100 party volunteers infiltrated the crowd and triggered the stampede. The police had arrested N. Dhanasekaran, a local councillor, and the DMK area secretary on false charges. The MPs alleged that residents of the locality had stated that the AIADMK Councillor of Ward 131, Baskar, had gone round the area in an autorickshaw announcing that distribution of relief money would be made only for a day or two. But the Police Commissioner, who should be held responsible for not providing sufficient police protection, "acted like an AIADMK functionary and told several lies in the media."

The MPs urged the Prime Minister to initiate action on the conduct of Mr. Natraj, "which has been in contravention of the All India Services Conduct and Disciplinary Rules."

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