`Land worth Rs 415 cr restored to rightful owners`

The AIADMK government has set up special cells to deal with land grab cases covering the previous DMK regime, a move dubbed by the arch-rival as political vendetta.

Chennai: The AIADMK Government has restored
land worth over Rs 415 crore to the rightful owners in the
past three months after coming to power, Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister Jayalalithaa said today in the state Assembly.

During the debate on grants for Home department, a
portfolio held by her, she said a total of 8,947 complaints
regarding land grab had been received till August 17, 2011 and
419 people have been arrested in this connection.

Meanwhile, land worth Rs 415.48 crore had been restored to
rightful owners, Jayalalithaa said.

The AIADMK government has set up special cells to
deal with land grab cases covering the previous DMK regime, a
move dubbed by the arch-rival as political vendetta.

DMK strongman from Salem and former minister Veerapandi S
Arumugam, sitting and former MLAs J Anbazhagan and Ranganathan
and some close aides of Union Minister M K Alagiri have been
arrested in connection with land grab cases.

Jayalalithaa said the government had ordered constitution
of Special Fast Track Courts to deal with such cases.
Complaints of land grab had been received during DMK rule
also, but police could not act as their "hands were tied," she
said. Now they have been given complete freedom to act.

She accused many from the party including those close to
party chief M Karunanidhi and his family of having
`interfered` in police functioning when the party was in

Replying to CPI member N Nanjappan Pennagaram allegation
that some policemen were also involved in certain land grab
cases, Jayalalithaa said "we won`t hesitate to act against
criminals in any department."

Action would be taken against police officials facing
charges, she said but added allegations against officers,
should be backed by proof.

Jayalalithaa said it was not easy to act against officials
as they had the support of their colleagues and the government
had to work with the existing batch of officers.

Jayalalithaa also said the government planned to
implement a Rs 134.26 crore project for the modernisation of
police force. The state would bear Rs 33.57 crore of the total
cost of the project, a proposal for which has been sent to the

Since the existing 2,238 personnel strong force was not
enough to efficiently regulate traffic in the city, an
additional 1,125 posts would be created, she said.

The government would also create five more traffic police
stations in addition to the existing 206 across the state and
establish four permanent police training schools in Avadi,
Villupuram, Salem and Madurai, she said.

Besides, risk allowance given to police officials from Rs
270 to Rs 300 for personnel up to the rank of inspectors and
from Rs 315 to Rs 350 for those with the rank of
Superintendent of Police.

Maintaining that she always accorded special respect to
Army and police personnel, the chief minister said while "it
was easy to criticise them one should also realise the risks
faced by them while discharging duties."

She said in most cases, such uniformed personnel were
"forced to take up such profession due to various reasons
including family compulsions, and they were doing a sacrifice
for the society by joining the forces and therefore any number
of sops given to them is justified."


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