Kerala government objects to high court judge remarks


Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Wednesday took serious exception to the Kerala High Court criticising the state government for its failure to protect life and property in Kannur district, which was rocked by political violence last week.

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The judge’s remarks were, however, hailed by Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Oommen Chandy.

The judge’s remarks led to heated exchanges between the ruling and opposition members in the assembly Wednesday.

Justice V. Ramkumar Tuesday observed that the only solution to ensuring peace in Kannur, the scene of clashes between members of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist(CPI-M) and the Bharatiya Janata Party/Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activists last week, was to deploy central forces that would not yield to those in power.

He also hoped the governor would apprise the central government about Kannur violence that has left seven dead.

Justice Ramkumar made the observation while asking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe a political murder in which a CPI-M activist is an accused.

Both Achuthanandan and Balakrishnan echoed the comments of CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan who said Tuesday evening that the judge has crossed his brief.

The entire opposition walked out of the house after Speaker K. Radhakrishnan refused them permission to move an adjournment motion to discuss Justice Ramkumar’s remarks.

“We will seek legal recourse to remove the references made by the judge Tuesday and for that we will approach the Division Bench. Even Union Home Minister Shivaraj Patil has said that there is no need for deployment of central forces in Kannur. What the judge said cannot be taken as the last word,” said Achuthanandan.

Before leading the opposition out, Chandy said the judge’s observations reflect the true picture in Kannur.

“Balakrishnan, you are playing with fire and if you don’t act, then things will reach a point of no return. You should be ashamed because the judge said that in Tellichery, your constituency, that blessed are those who die a natural death. It is a shame that this happens in your own place. Please correct yourselves. If not, you will have to pay a heavy price,” said Chandy amid thumping of the desks by opposition members.

Tellichery (Thalassery in Malayalam) in Kannur district was the scene of clashes.

The recent violence started when a leader was attacked last Wednesday. Three people lost their lives later that day in clashes between BJP/RSS workers and CPI-M members. One person was killed Thursday and two others Friday.

Achuthanandan held talks with state BJP president P.K. Krishnadas and a top leader of RSS and promised that very soon an all-party meeting would be held to discuss the issue.

“We have promised to cooperate with an effort to bring peace in Kannur. We will take part in the all party meeting to be called by the chief minister,” said Krishnadas.