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SIT to probe Marad massacre

Special Correspondent

Team to inquire into ‘larger conspiracy' and supply of weapons to rioters: VS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Cabinet has decided to order an inquiry by a special investigation team (SIT) of the State police into the ‘larger conspiracy' behind the massacre at Marad in Kozhikode district in 2003.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told the media after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the team would inquire into aspects such as conspiracy by external forces and financial support and supply of weapons for the rioters.

The State government had sought an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the communal riots as recommended by the Thomas P. Joseph Commission. Though the request was made three times, the Centre had not responded positively.

The Chief Minister said the Crime Branch of the police would investigate the lock-up death of Sampath, the first accused in the murder of housewife Puthur Sheela at Palakkad on Monday night.

Mr. Achuthanandan said the Centre would be requested to extend the time for corporatisation of the Kerala State Electricity Board by six months. He said the Chief Minister would chair the director board of the company proposed to be set up for taking up the Kannur airport project.

The Ministers in charge of Home, Finance, Industries and Revenue and the Finance Secretary would be directors of the company.

The government would hold 26 per cent of the equity in the company on the model of Cochin International Airport Ltd. Public sector undertakings would hold 23 per cent of the equity. The reservation for last grade employees of government service in appointments to the posts of lower division clerk and typist would be increased from five per cent to 10 per cent.

The Cabinet had also decided to grant Rs.3 lakh to the families of the six persons who had died in the recent road accident at Irithodu in the Koodal police station limits of Pathanamthitta district. The government would bear the cost of treatment of the injured.Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said the alleged reclamation on 400 acres of kayal land near Kumarakom would be inquired into, if a complaint was received.

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