Secretariat’s security will be tightened, no important files damaged in fire: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

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The chief minister further said that government’s priority was to conduct proper enquiry into the incident

Two days after fire broke out at Kerala Secretariat that had sparked a big political controversy, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday that security in and around the building would be increased and the chief secretary has been handed the responsibility in this regard.

Talking to reporters, Vijayan said that no important files were damaged in the fire and some files partially damaged.

He made it clear that the government already said that it was ready to hand over all the documents to the NIA, which has been investigating the gold smuggling case at Thiruvananthapuram airport.

The chief minister further said that government’s priority was to conduct proper enquiry into the incident.

“Two separate teams -- one by an ADGP rank officer and another by disaster management committee commissioner-- have been enquiring the case,” Vijayan said.

They will assess the losses and the files that were damaged in the fire. The teams will also suggest measures required to be adopted for preventing such incidents in future in the probe report, he said.

Earlier in the day, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan reportedly referred Opposition’s letter seeking strong action in the fire incident to Vijayan.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala met the governor on Wednesday seeking strong action against the state government over the fire at the state Secretariat. He had also submitted a detailed letter keeping in view the significance of the matter.

The governor reportedly referred the matter to Vijayan for 'appropriate consideration'.

On the allegations related to the Life Mission project, Vijayan said that there is no need for consent from the Centre in this regard. However, the consent is mandatory only if the agreement is between a foreign government and a local government, he added.

"I understand that this (pact with Red Cresent) does not need the permission of the Foreign Ministry. The Centre has to be informed about the matter," he said adding that if the Centre is to be informed about it, it is possible even now.

He said that the allegations of commission in connection with Life Mission project at Vadakkancheri in Thrissur district was only based on media reports and an enquire could be initiated only based on solid evidence.

Image credit: The Hindu Business Line

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