Chennai, Feb 6: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said the State has been peaceful with police given a free hand to deal with any situation and maintain continuous vigil on proscribed LTTE and extremist activities.
Reacting to Opposition AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa's charge that law and order had deteriorated in the State for which the Centre should sack the DMK Government, the Chief Minister, in a statement here, said since the police had been allowed to function freely, they were taking suitable action ensuring peace. Ever since the DMK came to power in May 2006, the government was taking all steps to maintain peace and communal harmony in the State, without any let up.
The police was maintaining strict vigil on infiltration of LTTE militants in the guise of refugees and conducting periodic checks in the refugee camps to ensure no terrorists had taken shelter there.
After launching a drive against extremists and LTTE supporters,the police arrested 84 people in connection with smuggling iron balls, alumonium bars, latest communication gadgets, boats and essential items to the LTTE and registered 13 cases against them, Forty of the arrested, including 17 Sri Lankan Tamils, had been detained under the National Security Act (NSA).
Explosive materials, 7.5 tonne of iron balls, four tonne of alumonium bars and other items, meant to be smuggled to the LTTE, were seized.
In a swift move, the police recently arrested a nine-member gang, including LTTE Intelligence Wing Leader Thambidurai and seized a luxury car and Rs 4.78 lakh from them.
To prevent infiltration of LTTE into the State, police was maintaining close vigil in coastal areas in coordination with the Indian Coast Guard and coastal security police with the help of two Coast Guard ships and boats, sent by the Centre on a request from the State Government.
Mr Karunanidhi said crime rate had come down considerably after police took into preventive custody 1,220 people in 2006 and 1,550 during 2007. Due to stern action taken by police, 89 per cent of the cases registered during 2006 had been solved and 81 per cent of property retrieved.
The crime detection rate was 87 per cent and the property recovery rate 86 per cent during 2007.
The police was also taking all steps to maintain law and order in the State and ensure Tamil Nadu remained peaceful and there were no communal clashes.
Labour disputes were resolved now and then and during all major agitations, the situation remained peaceful.
When agitations were launched in connection with price rise, inter-state water dispute, Salem Railway Division, Titanium and Sethusamudram Projects, police ensured law and order.
Similarly, police ensured communal harmony when Rationalist Leader Periyar E V Ramasamy's statue was desecrated during Vinayaka Chathurthi procession, during Babri Masjid Demolition Anniversary and agitation on reservation organised by Muslims.
Mr Karunanidhi said the police had successfuly thwarted efforts to spread extremism into Tamil Nadu from the neighbouring States.
When there were serial blasts in states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, there was no untoward incident in the State.