Puducherry: With her tweet on "ex-criminal tribes" drawing flak from various quarters, Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday expressed regret stating that her views "meant ill to no one".
"I meant not to hurt anyone either. I just shared my experience and if it has hurt anybody's sentiments I have no no hesitation in expressing my regrets," she said in a release.
Bedi on 1 August had tweeted "Ex-Criminal Tribes are known to be very cruel. They are hardcore professionals in committing crimes. Rarely caught and/or convicted."
Coming out with a clarification following concerns expressed from some quarters, she said it was her "duty to put things in perspective and to clarify the tweet regarding ex-criminal tribes".
She said that "controlling night crimes during dark nights from them (some of these professionals) was a nightmare".
The former IPS officer also said that she would only recall how the entire district police and the villagers forming night patrols used to spend sleepless nights protecting residents of outlying areas.
"While preventing crime in my district, we were also reforming several of them still involved in their traditional crimes such as thefts, bootlegging etc. It was a part of our crime prevention plan through rehabilitation," she said.
She said "the genesis of her non-governmental organisation Navjyoti India Foundation began with their reform and rehabilitation when we started opening schools for educating their children and providing training in skill development for their women who were only bootleggers".
She said "we trained them to earn an honest livelihood. Today their children are teachers, professionals and running their own businesses. We are their mentors and are proud of their achievements."
She clarified that what she had alluded to (in her Twitter) was that those not rehabilitated and come into reform might still be indulging in such crimes.
This was once again confirmed by statements of Uttar Pradesh police officers that "the same ex criminal tribe members were involved".
"I just shared my past experience and if it has hurt anybody's sentiments I have no hesitation in expressing my regrets. I am the well wisher of ex-crime tribe always. I always look forward to see a proper welfare package for all such vulnerable groups."
Puducherry Federation of Scheduled Tribes Welfare Associations and CPI (M) Puducherry unit had earlier expressed strong protest against the tweet and condemned the comments.