Monday, Jul 28, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
A State-level conference, organised by the party here last evening to "condemn political murders and defend human rights", said ``the motto of service to people is being replaced by selfishness in politics.''
Listing out some of the political activists such as the former DMK Minister, Pasumpon T. Kiruttinan, the Iduvai panchayat chief, Rathnasamy (CPI-M), and the deputy chairman of Erode municipality, Balakrishnan (AIADMK), who were murdered recently, the meet expressed anguish over the growing trend of anti-social elements, including illicit liquor barons, drug traffickers, persons who illegally occupied government land, murderers and dacoits converting political parties into safe havens for them.
It appealed to political parties to expel persons, however big they might be, if they indulged in anti-social activities and urged the Government to take stern action against them.
The meet demanded immediate release of the MDMK general secretary, Vaiko, the Tamil Nationalist Movement leader, P. Nedumaran, and the Nakkheeran editor, Gopal, saying their detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act betrayed the "State Government's vindictiveness and denial of freedom of expression to individuals". It urged the Centre to withdraw the Act.
The meet also condemned the incidents of custodial violence which were "on the rise in the State in the last two years." According to human rights outfits, 39 deaths occurred in custody and several persons were subjected to torture in police stations. Demanding stern action against police personnel, who violated human rights, it urged the Government to give up `vindictive' measures such as subjecting `political rivals' to midnight arrests and making them to travel longer distances on the pretext of taking them to prisons.
Describing the largescale dismissals and detention of striking government employees by invoking the Tamil Nadu Essential Services Maintenance Act as `unprecedented measures in the country,' it urged the Government to reinstate all dismissed employees and ensure normal functioning of the administration.
The former Kerala Chief Minister, E. K. Nayanar, the State CPI (M) secretary, N. Varadharajan, the State CPI assistant secretary, C. Mahendran, and senior advocate, R. Vaigai, addressed the meet.
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