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Crime rate down, says Chief Minister

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 16:45

Chennai: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday said the number of crimes in Tamil Nadu has come down due to strict action by the State police. This is in contrast with the annual increase of crime rate on an all India basis because of increase in population, economic growth, IT development, changing social conditions and urbanisation, she said quoting statistics. Replying to a discussion on demand for grants to the Home, Prohibition and Excise department in the State Assembly, she said the police force has to be modernised in order to maintain law and order and prevent crimes.

The welfare of policemen who work day and night has to be ensured and vacancies in the police service have to be filled. “I have been giving top priority to these and taking action continuously in this regard,” she said. Ms. Jayalalithaa said that 11,488 posts of policemen had been filled in the last four years. The Tamil Nadu police youth brigade was formed, 2,123 new vehicles were procured and 2,986 old ones replaced. She also listed out welfare measures for policemen including police canteens, increase in food and uniform allowance and master health check-up for those above the age of 40 years.

To a question from CPI(M) floor leader A. Soundararajan on whether CCTVs would be installed at all junctions, Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was a just demand and the government would consider it. Participating in the discussion on the demands, he wanted the government to consider releasing remand prisoners as soon as possible, change the selection process for women police and promotions for fire and rescue service personnel on the lines of the police force.

Replying to Mr. Soundararajan’s charge that the police was not allowing demonstrations and protests in the State, the Chief Minister said that of the total number of protests happening all over the country 25 per cent happened in Tamil Nadu. Every day 60 demonstrations, protests and rallies were taking place in the State. The police intervened only to maintain law and order and to ensure that normal life is not affected. She also clarified that MLA V. Balakrishnan, who participated in a protest at Chidambaram during the general strike was not roughed up by the police while removing him from the protest venue.

On custodial deaths in the State, she said that the numbers had gone down considerably. “Steps will be taken to ensure they do not happen,” she assured. In 2011 there were four deaths, six in 2012, 15 in 2013, eight in 2014 and three custodial deaths so far in 2015, she said.

On a question from DMK member E.Va. Velu about providing housing for police personnel, Ms. Jayalalithaa said under the Own Your House Scheme, around 36,000 houses had been planned. In the first phase, 47 acres of land had been identified near Kancheepuram and 2,700-odd houses were being constructed. These houses would be sold to policemen and the government was in the process of facilitating bank loans. Under the scheme to rent out houses, the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation had so far constructed 39,674 houses of which 10,081 were constructed in the last four years.