Chennai police faces heat at Madras HC over Marina crackdown, asked to explain violence

Madras HC directs Advocate General to file detailed counter affidavit in two weeks
Chennai police faces heat at Madras HC over Marina crackdown, asked to explain violence
Chennai police faces heat at Madras HC over Marina crackdown, asked to explain violence
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Following several petitions from advocates requesting investigation into the alleged excesses by police against pro-Jallikattu protesters, the Madras High Court has directed Advocate General R Muthukumaraswamy to file a detailed counter affidavit explaining 3 crucial aspects of the incident within two weeks. The Court asked why peaceful protesters were attacked, what action has been taken against police who were allegedly involved in the violence and why treatment was reportedly denied to victims of violence.

Justice R Mahadevan issued the directive after a criminal original petition from advocate B Kumar came up for hearing on Monday. A similar PIL was also filed by senior advocate R Gandhi, seeking CBI probe and judicial enquiry into the incidents.

Advocate B Kumar, who had participated in the agitation, submitted a video that allegedly shows the police instigating violence and damaging vehicles. He further submitted to the court that 'police entered the houses of innocent people and damage articles'. The court then questioned the advocate about the involvement of his client in the agitation, and if there was any protester present before the court and whether the client is directly involved or affected.

Further, another advocate Balu then claimed that he has enough material, including videos, to show the involvement of police. He demanded an independent investigation into the acts of violence by the police. Justice R Mahadevan then reminded counsel that the State Government has already announced that it will ensure action against officials involved in acts of violence, to which the he said that the Commissioner in a news briefing had justified police action. The police commissioner had claimed that the video showing a police officer torching a vehicle was morphed, counsel R Gandhi pointed out, seeking a CBI enquiry.

The judge in response to this said that the police seem to not know that such statements will go against them. Senior counsel R Gandhi submitted that the protests were peaceful till January 17 and that there was no incident of violence. The senior counsel questioned why a lathi-charge was ordered and over 15,000 police men deployed. He went on to ask which senior official ordered the eviction of protesters and the lathi charge against them.

The counsel submitted that the order must have come from a senior official and questioned if it could be police commissioner S George. The senior counsel apart from seeking a CBI probe, also sought a judicial enquiry into the matter, following which Justice R Mahadevan said he will be passing an interim order and also directed the Advocate General to file a counter affidavit, answering the 3 questions put out by the counsel.

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