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Manjunath murder: Centre asks govt to act

Press Trust of India

Posted: Nov 30, 2005 at 1602 hrs IST

The gruesome murder of Indian Oil Corporation official S Manjunath figured prominently in the Rajya Sabha today and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said the Centre would give directions to the Uttar Pradesh government to act after getting information.

"Whenever things of this nature happen, we get the information and analyse them and then we give necessary directions to the state government to act," he said responding to the agitated members over the issue during Zero Hour.

The Centre has been doing this in the past and would do it in this case also, Patil said wondering whether a system could be evolved in which it would be possible for the Centre to take some action.

As law and order is a state subject, it would not be possible to evolve such a system without the consent and agreement of the state governments, he said.

Patil was responding to the demand of Congress members led by Jairam Ramesh who wanted stern action against the culprits in the killing of Manjunath, an IIM graduate, who was doing his duty in checking adulterated petrol and diesel in Uttar Pradesh.

Ramesh, who was joined by his colleague V Naranayanaswamy, demanded protection be given to officials of public sector undertakings as the incident has sent shockwaves among professionals.

This was not the first incident, he said citing the killing of Satyendra Dubey in Bihar who was murdered for attempting to check corruption in highway contracts.

"This was not a mere law and order issue. It was a clear case of mafia attempting to terrorise officials from doing their duty of checking adulteration", he said.

Ramesh said this was also an issue relating to the entire oil sector and the manner in which the pricing of kerosene vis-Ă -vis diesel had led to the growth of adulteration racket cutting across states.

The Petroleum Minister should look at the economic dimensions on how this adulteration has come about, he said.

Patil said he would convey the sentiments of members to Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar that necessary action be taken to curb adulteration and proper protection be extended to officials of oil PSUs while discharging their duty.

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