Saturday, February 27, 2010

MK at EFR hub

Salua, Feb. 26: Governor M.K. Narayanan felt the grievances of policemen’s families about lack of safety at camps were “reasonable” when he visited the Eastern Frontier Rifles headquarters here today.

After speaking to the kin of the 24 EFR personnel killed in the Maoist strike on the Shilda camp last week, Narayanan said: “Our aim is to avoid this sort of tragedy. The family members have some reasonable demands. The camps should be shifted to protected places.”

“Even the district magistrate and superintendent of police have admitted it (lack of security and infrastructure in some camps),” he added.

However, Narayanan refused to get drawn into whether lapses on the part of the police and the administration had led to the massacre. “There is no effort on our part to make any assessment,” he said.

But he will submit a report to the chief minister on his return to Calcutta.

Asked about Delhi’s proposed Green Hunt operation against the Maoists, Narayanan, a former national security adviser and intelligence official, said: “I have my own views about.... This is not the right place to talk (about them).”

While listening to the widows of the slain policemen, Narayanan kept taking notes.

“I told him that the living condition in our quarters is bad but the condition of the camps is worse,” said Padmini Basumatary.

“I asked him what will happen to me and my family now. He… asked me not to worry.”

Parvati Thakuri wept. “The chief minister did not bother to come here to see how we are after the tragedy,” she complained to the governor.

Narayanan placed a wreath on a memorial for the slain Shilda cops. He also visited the injured in hospital.

“This is a great tragedy,” he said, adding that his 38-year career with the police had brought him to Salua.

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