The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Antony vows firm action in riot case

Kozhikode, May 4 (PTI): Chief minister A.K. Antony today said the Kerala government would take firm and quick action against those involved in Friday’s Marad beach violence that claimed nine lives.

Antony, accompanied by director-general of police K.J. Joseph and district collector T.O. Suraj, visited the families of the victims and gave an assurance to this effect to Arya Samajam leaders. He appreciated the organisation’s decision to refrain from mounting retaliatory strikes.

Residents told the chief minister that the assailants had struck without provocation. They barged into houses, terrorised the women and children, and snatched jewellery, they said. Over 25 people were injured and there was widespread damage to property in the rioting.

While Arya Samajam leaders Devadasan, T. Suresan and K. Dasan gave a detailed account of the incident to the chief minister, relatives of the victims accused police of “inaction”. Over 60 people have been taken into custody so far.

Earlier during the day, locals had prevented a delegation of CPM leaders from visiting the families of the victims.

Talking to reporters, Antony said the Cabinet would discuss the need for setting up a fast track court to deal with such violence-related issues.

“It has to be ensured that action against those indulging in violence is not delayed,” he said. “More discussions, involving all sections of the people, are needed to find a lasting solution to the issue.”

As for his talks with Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the incident, Antony said she had urged for stern action. “She was also very anxious to know about the help being extended to the affected families,” he said. Union minister of state for home I.D. Swami is expected to visit Marad tomorrow.

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