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Revenue officials launch `black-shirt' agitation

By Our Special Correspondent

VILLUPURAM, MARCH 1. The revenue officials of Villupuram district today launched a week-long black-shirt-wearing agitation, to register their protest against the alleged anti-employee attitude of the District Revenue Officer, V.Govindarajan.

They urged the authorities to transfer the DRO to improve working atmosphere in the district. The protest is being carried out as per the decision taken by the Joint Action Committee of Revenue Officials, according to M.Kamalanathan, general secretary of the JAC.

Mr Kamalanathan alleged that the DRO used to abuse the officials, and he even initiated criminal proceedings against three of them. The officials had already launched a demonstration and a dharna demanding his transfer. On February 10,2005, the government ordered his transfer "without waiting for a substitute," but another order passed on February 26 kept the transfer in abeyance.

When contacted, the DRO said the JAC in a resolution passed on November 20,2004 had commended his services for taking the district to the second place in the State in meeting the targets.

Mr Govindarajan, who is also the State president of the Civil Services Association, said when he turned down the JAC office-bearers' demand for approving the postings list, they had started levelling allegations, and to explain his stand he had circulated handbills.

The DRO said he had offered to correct himself if anyone pinpointed the context where he used abusive language, but none did so. Mr Govindarajan said he had lodged a police complaint on learning that three officials had threatened physical harm to him during a dharna on December 18,2004.

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