Ambala, Tuesday, April 15, 1969


NEW DELHI, April 14 (PTI, UNI)-The Union Defence Minister, Mr. Swaran Singh, while maintaining that the Centre is within its powers to order a judicial inquiry into the Cossipore firing incident, involving Central Government personnel in a Central Government-owned factory, has offered to discuss the matter with the West Bengal Government. Intervening in a special Lok Sabha debate, this evening on the April 8 firing and the “Bengal Bandh” on April 10, he made it clear that he was, however, not prepared for any discussion through “proxy”. The Minister said it was not for the State Government to demand that the Defence Security Force personnel involved in the firing should be handed over to the State police. Answering Communist charges that the Centre was obstructing the process of law by refusing to hand over the personnel to face a “murder charge”, he said the proper forum for airing the demand was a court of law.


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