Jallikattu: Cops involved in violence, says petition; HC asks TN govt to explain

A total of 48 people had been remanded in judicial custody, on various allegations of violence during the protests.

Chennai/Madurai: Madras High Court on Monday directed the Tamil Nadu Government to file a detailed counter affidavit on allegations of police excesses on 'peaceful' protesters at Chennai's Marina Beach during the recent pro-jallikattu agitation.

In a related development, the court's Madurai bench also ordered issuing a notice to the state government, DGP and district police officials on a PIL seeking a judicial inquiry into charges of police excesses on agitators in Alanganallur and some other places in Madurai district on January 23.

Passing interim orders on petitions filed by two senior advocates seeking a CBI inquiry, Justice R Mahadevan directed state's Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy to file a detailed counter affidavit within two weeks responding to the petitioners' averments.

The judge sought explanation on three main points raised by the petitioners who alleged that the peaceful protesters were attacked, police were involved in violence and treatment was denied to the victims.

Petitioners B Kumar and R Gandhi have sought a CBI inquiry into alleged police excesses against the pro-jallikattu protesters who held a week-long stir at the Marina Beach demanding that the ban on the bull taming sport be lifted.

The counsel for Kumar, who also participated in the stir, claimed he had video evidence to show that police instigated violence and damaged vehicles.

He also alleged that police forced their way into the houses of innocent people and damaged articles.

At this, the Judge sought to know whether his client was directly involved in the agitation and affected by the action to which the counsel said he had enough material to prove his point and pressed for an independent probe.

The Judge then said the government itself had made a statement that it would look into the demand for action against officials allegedly involved in the incidents.

The counsel replied that "the City Police Commissioner had in a statement justified the Police action" and even said the video purportedly showing a police personnel torching a vehicle was morphed.

Noting that the police do not know that such statements could go against them, the Judge said the government suo motu announced it will take action against any erring police personnel.

Submitting that everything went on peacefully during the week-long protest, Gandhi questioned the need for the "sudden" lathicharge on the protesters and deployment of 15,000 police personnel on January 23.

He sought to know under whose orders, the "peaceful protesters" were removed and lathi-charged.

In Madurai, issuing notice on a petition by one P Kanagavel, a division bench comprising Justices A Selvam and P Kalaiarasan directed the State Home Secretary, the DGP, City Police Commissioner and the District Superintendent of Police to file counter affidavits before February 15.

The petitioner alleged police had attacked peaceful protesters in Alanganallur village and Tamukkam Grounds, Sellur and Periyar bus terminus in the city.

He claimed that several protesters were detained illegally.

He prayed for a judicial inquiry into the police action, besides seeking a direction to the state government to provide proper treatment to those injured.

When the matter came up for hearing, the Additional Advocate General (AAG) opposed it, saying a case had been registered against the petitioner as well and hence, the PIL was not filed in public interest.

He also claimed that 10 buses and three police vehicles were damaged in the violence by the agitators. A total of 48 people had been arrested and remanded in judicial custody, he added.

The petitioner's counsel alleged police personnel had set fire to vehicles.

( Source : PTI )
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