Law and order in HP has deteriorated under Congress: BJP

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Shimla, Sep 24 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh unit of the BJP today alleged that law and order situation in the state was deteriorating under the present Congress Government.

''Thefts, murders, rapes and other serious criminal cases have shown an increase during the Congress' four and a half years in government,'' party's chief whip Ravinder Singh Ravi said in a release here.

He said, ''Due to the political patronage being provided to criminal elements, the state has become a safe haven for people indulging in smuggling of contraband items.'' ''Even the India Today's survey has proved that the law and order in the state has deteriorated as it has slipped to sixth place in 2006 from the third position in 2003,'' Mr Ravi said.

He said, ''Over 300 children were missing in Shimla district alone during the last five years of which there was no trace of 104, highlighting the state's policing during the last few years.'' Reports of missing tourists from various parts of the state was also a cause of concern, he said, adding that forest mafia was actively involved in the smuggling of trees to the neighbouring states.

Meanwhile, party's state president Jai Ram Thakur today criticised the Virbhadra Singh Government for completing the 126 MW Larji hydro power project almost 10 years behind schedule, saying the project was still under cloud.

He said no action had been taken against officials involved with the project, which was almost 10 years behind schedule and had jacked up its cost of power generation by several hundred crores over the years.

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