Kozhikode: The state government has secretly withdrawn most of the cases charged in connection with the attacks on forest offices during the protests
against the Gadgil panel recommendations on Western Ghats conservation.
The clergy and laity had allegedly unleashed violence and arson in Thamarassery during the December 2013 agitation, injuring many forest and police personnel.
According to Kozhikode divisional forest officer V.P. Jayaprakash, there was no communiqué to his department on any of the proceedings.
“I was told that all the cases were withdrawn, but an official intimation on that is yet to reach,” he added.
In 2015 when there was an attempt to withdraw the cases, then principal chief conservator of forests B.S. Corrie, had expressed strong reservations, forcing the
home department to put the move on hold.
The chief of forest forces had also conveyed the anger and angst among ranks over the undue delay in the investigation and other legal procedures.
Of the 42 cases against the agitators, including priests, only one is at the trial stage, and four others are under consideration for withdrawal by the home department, sources said.
Though Thamarassery bishop Remigiose Inchananiyil had extended all support, later he disowned the agitation.
Sources said the home department had in July 2015 sought an opinion from the Thamarassery police on withdrawing ten cases of arson.
Besides the Thamarassery police had withdrawn eight cases of arson citing lack of evidence,
It dropped the case against a priest of Thamarassery diocese, who had allegedly led the mob, midway and the investigation officer who refused to fall in line was transferred to Idukki.
More than 20 forest personnel were injured in the attacks. In total, 30 cases were reported from the hilly regions of Kozhikode, Kannur and Wayanad districts.
The Thamarassery forest range office was gutted, and many forest stations and vehicles were attacked.
“The total loss was more than Rs 2 crore,” an official said....