On Tuesday, a day after the protests in Chennai turned violent, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Chief Secretary, DGP Tamil Nadu and Chennai Police Commissioner:
"The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that after the passage of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the State Assembly, police, without any prior caution, resorted to beating, arresting and damaging private property in order to disperse a large number of people gathered at landmark places in Chennai in support of Jallikattu.
It has taken a serious view of the unprovoked police excesses and has issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Government of Tamil Nadu and Chennai Police Commissioner calling for reports in the matter within two weeks.
The Commission has observed on the basis of media reports that unprovoked police action amounts to violation of human rights. The people of Tamil Nadu, particularly in Chennai, had been conducting protests over a weak demanding conducting of 'Jallikattu', a sport associated with 'Pongal' festival reflecting Tamil culture. All through, the protest was peaceful. The protectionists at Marina Beach never exceeded their fundamental right.
The visuals on television news channels show that police set on fire the huts, autos, motor cycles, vegetable shops on streets and other properties in internal streets in Chennai. Bleeding students ran for their life. Police even entered into the houses and started beating people indiscriminately. The police blocked the major routes leading to Marina Beach as well as Chennai city."
The NHRC has taken a serious view of the unprovoked police excesses and called for reports in the matter within two weeks.
The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has also sought a report from the Director General of Police in four weeks over the police crackdown on the protesters.
The notice stated, âWhereas the complaint taken as âsuo motuâ the news item in a Tamil Daily viz., âDinamalarâ Chennai Edition, dated 24th January 2017 was considered by the commission.â
The notice added that the matter will be listed for further consideration before the commission after four weeks.
Various videos went viral on Monday which showed the police crackdown on the protesters. A live coverage by News 18 channel around 5 pm showed a policeman throwing a burning bundle into an auto. An overturned cart could be seen in the visual with fire in the background. The report stated that the incident happened in RK Salai, Chennai.
The visuals on television news channels show that police set on fire huts, autos, motorcycles, vegetable shops on streets and other properties in internal streets in Chennai. Bleeding students ran for their life. Police even entered houses and started beating people indiscriminately. The police allegedly blocked the major routes leading to Marina beach as well as Chennai city.
Read: Shocking videos from TN: Cops indulging in vandalism, mob violence towards police
However, Chennai police commissioner S George in a press conference on Monday evening said that the videos will be probed by the multimedia department and that they had been morphed.
He added that aggression was only employed against anti-social elements and that they had arrested 40 miscreants who were instigated by âvested interestsâ.