Daily Archives: February 1, 2017

Tamil Nadu government announces inquiry commission to look into violence during pro- Jallikattu agitation!

Tamil Nadu government announces inquiry commission to look into violence during pro- Jallikattu agitation!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
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The historic pro-Jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu by Tamil youth against the court ban and winning the approval of Tamil Nadu government as well as federal government had been a very peaceful throughout until they achieved the objective.

Violence erupted January 23 on the Marian beech which turned the center of agitations as they were being forced by Tamil Nadu police – obviously on instructions from the Madras Fort which houses Tamil Nadu government. Police which was very helpful to and even supportive of the pro-Jallikattu protesters throughout could have taken a decision on their own to attack the protesters, forcing them to flee the venue which central government sought to clear to host Republic day celebrations.

The protest had turned violent on January 23 when police dispersed the agitators, two days after the state promulgated and ordinance for allowing the sport. Police had fired tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge at some places as sections of protesters, removed from Marina in the early morning crackdown, pelted stones. Police had said over 100 people were arrested in connection with the violence and more than 90 police personnel injured in the violence. The state-wide Jallikattu protests, predominantly by students, ended on January 23 after the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a bill replacing the Ordinance for conduct of the bull taming sport.

The attack on the protestors is being criticized by all political parties except the ruling AIADMK and BJP that seeks to fish in troubled waters. And regain its lost base in certain pockets in Tamil Nadu. BJP has no representative in Tamil Nadu assembly in years as both DMK and AIADMK rejected its appeals for electoral alliance. The Modi government has been wooing AIADMK to have a truck in politics but AIADMK even under O. Pannerselvam has not responded favorably. . BJP believes even a big rock and mountain can move if pursued continuously.

In the wake of reports that police and anti-social elements indulged in the violence and not protesters favoring Jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport, several leading politicians from the state had called for a thorough probe into the matter. There have been demands from all sections of society, especially from political parties like DMK, PMK, and Congress etc to withdraw all cases against the protesters. Opposition parties, including the DMK, have slammed the police for lathicharging the protesters and also sought a probe into alleged police excesses. The matter has also been taken to the Madras High Court where PILs have been filed seeking a probe, with the former issuing notice to the government for its reply.

Opposition parties, including the DMK, have slammed the police for lathicharging the protesters and also sought a probe into alleged police excesses. The matter has also been taken to the Madras High Court where PILs have been filed seeking a probe, with the former issuing notice to the government for its reply.

CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat had demanded an independent and impartial probe into the alleged “police attack” to evict pro-Jallikattu protesters from Marina Beach and elsewhere in the city and sought adequate compensation for those affected. PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss had also sought a probe by the CBI and by a Madras High Court judge into the violence in Chennai and Madurai.

Bowing to demands from opposition parties and others, Tamil Nadu government on has announced a Commission of Inquiry to go into the circumstances leading to the violence during the recent pro-Jallikattu stir at the Marina and elsewhere in the state and the alleged police excesses.

In a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the commission would be headed by a retired high court judge and he would complete the probe in three months and submit to the government. . He also announced withdrawal of cases against students, who had spearheaded the week-long protests earlier this month at Marina Beach and elsewhere across the state, demanding lifting of the ban on the bull taming sport.

Spelling out the terms of reference, he said the Commission will probe if the police had used appropriate force over the protesters, and if it was proportionate to the circumstances, and the damage to public and private properties. “It will inquire if there had been excesses in police action and if it had been so, the Commission will advise on the action to be taken,” he said adding recommendations will also be made to avert such situations in the future.

Noting that the police cyber crime wing was looking into alleged involvement of some police personnel in illegal activities like torching incidents, he said, “At the conclusion of such probe, if the was confirmed that such police personnel indulged in such activities, stern action will be taken.” He also announced withdrawal of cases filed against 36 students, “considering their future”. “Legal steps will be taken immediately to fully ease out students from the cases,” he added.

In a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the commission would be headed by a retired high court judge and complete the probe in three months. He also announced withdrawal of cases against students, who had spearheaded the week-long protests earlier this month at Marina Beach here and elsewhere across the state, demanding lifting of the ban on the bull taming sport.

Panneerselvam said work on setting up a temporary fish market at Nadukuppam, hit by the violence, will be completed in one or two days. A permanent, modern and hygiene fish market will be set up at a cost of Rs 70 lakh. Noting that the police cyber crime wing was looking into alleged involvement of some police personnel in illegal activities like torching incidents, he said, “At the conclusion of such probe, if the was confirmed that such police personnel indulged in such activities, stern action will be taken.” He also announced withdrawal of cases filed against 36 students, “considering their future”. “Legal steps will be taken immediately to fully ease out students from the cases,” he added.

The protest had turned violent on January 23 when police dispersed the agitators, two days after the state promulgated and ordinance for allowing the sport. “In continuation of protests seeking nod for bull taming sport Jallikattu, law and order problems happened in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore on Jan 23 and other areas and a Commission of Inquiry will be set up to inquire into the reasons and circumstances for it,” Panneerselvam said. Spelling out the terms of reference, he said the Commission will probe if the police had used appropriate force over the protesters, and if it was proportionate to the circumstances, and the damage to public and private properties. “It will inquire if there had been excesses in police action and if it had been so, the Commission will advise on the action to be taken,” he said adding recommendations will also be made to avert such situations in the future.

On 31 January, in a major boost for those backing bull taming sport in the state, the Supreme Court refused to stay the recent amendment in the Act made by Tamil Nadu to allow Jallikattu. At the same time, it also allowed Centre to withdraw January 7, 2016 notification on Jallikattu. Further, the apex court has permitted animal rights bodies, individuals to amend their pending petitions to challenge the new legislation. However, it sent out a stern message to the state government and asked them to maintain law and order in Tamil Nadu.

 

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