Advani meets PM on GUJCOC Bill lying with Prez since 2003

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New Delhi, Apr 28 (UNI) A delegation of Gujarat BJP MPs, led by Leader of the Opposition L K Advani, today called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought his personal intervention for securing the Presidential assent for the Gujarat Control of Organized Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, which has been pending since 2003.

The Bill, Mr Advani said, would help the state government face challenges posed by terrorists and infiltrators.

The delegation, which met the Prime Minister in his office in Parliament House, submitted a memorandum to him, seeking allocation of more funds to strengthen coastal security in the western state.

In the memorandum, the BJP MPs pointed out that the GUJCOC bill was passed by the Gujarat Assembly in 2003 and sent to the President for his assent.

''The assent of the President is still awaited,'' they said.

Mr Advani drew Dr Singh's attention to the fact that a similar legislation was already in existence in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra pradesh and Delhi, and the Presidential assent to GUJCOC should be given on the similar line.

Informing that against the Rs 392.47 crore perspective plan submitted by the state government only Rs 58.42 crore had been approved, the MPs urged the PM to look into the matter as it concerned national security.

The delegation members said the Gujarat government had been giving representation to the Centre to initiate steps that would strengthen security network in the state.

''It is regrettable that the state government is not getting appropriate support from the Government of India on issues of modernisation of the security equipment and capacity building of its police force,'' they said.

''However, in view of the large-scale requirements of border security and also in view of challenges posed by terrorists and infiltrators, both in terms of their reach and skills, it is beyond any state government's capacity to handle the security issues without proper administrative and financial support by the Central Government,''they contended.

The memorandum said the financial and logistic support from the Centre to Gujarat for modernisation of its police force had been reduced ''without assigning any understandable reasons''.

The government of Gujarat, which has the longest coastal line in the country, had sent a comprehensive scheme to the Centre in 2005 on coastal security, which included setting up of 51 coastal police stations in 11 coastal districts of the state.

The BJP MPs said only ten police stations had so far been sanctioned. Similarly, agianst the proposal of 70 outposts, only 46 have been sanctioned.

Further, the proposals of the state government to introduce camel patrolling system and erect 90 watch towers have also not been approved.

Against Rs.392.47 crores perspective plan, GOI has approved only Rs.58.42 crores.

Mr Advani also sought the Prime Minister's intervention to release the fishermen of Gujarat languishing in the jails of Pakistan. It was pointed out that at least 367 boats with 500 fishermen were kidnapped by Pakistani security personnel.

Besides Mr Advani, the delegation included Mrs Jayaben Thakker, Vijay Rupani, P S Gadhavi, Harin Pathak, Surendrabhai Patel, Ratilala Varma, Kanjibhai Patel, Mansukhbhai Vasava, Parsottam Rupala, Kashirambhai Rana, Natuji Thakor, Bharatsinh Paramar, Harilal M. Patel and Rajendrasinh Rana.

UNI/SKS-AN AS2023

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