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Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram is asking the Chennai police to register a case against a person who claimed to be his personal secretary and asked for permission from the Kerala Forest Department to visit Ponnambalamedu near Sabarimala.
Identifying himself as V. Narayanan, the man had called Forest Minister Benoy Viswam and sought permission to visit the sensitive area after officials declined his request.
Mr. Viswam, who had reason to suspect his identity and motives, did not entertain the request.
Following Mr. Viswam’s refusal to intervene, the caller spoke to the Minister in a rude manner.
The Forest Minister subsequently wrote a letter to Mr. Chidambaram narrating the incident. He said the caller had behaved in an uncouth manner and used foul language.
The Union Minister replied that he was shocked to hear about the incident and clarified that there was none of that name among his personal staff. He was reporting the matter to the police for investigation.
The Forest Minister’s Office had earlier received a recommendation letter purported to be from Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan.
The letter said that Narayanan and 15 others should be permitted to visit Ponnambalamedu.
As Ponnambalamedu is in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the Forest Minister’s Office replied pointing out that it was a protected area. Requests to visit the location as part of the Sabarimala pilgrimage were not being entertained.
Security is tight this year in and around the area in view of threats from terrorists.
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