Chennai: The Madras High Court today issued notices to the Tamil Nadu and Central governments on a PIL seeking a judicial probe into the alleged security lapses during Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Rajaji Hall here to pay homage to departed DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi.
A division bench, comprising justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, which heard the petition filed by advocate A P Suryaprakasam, posted the matter for further hearing on September 14.
According to the petitioner, when Rahul visited Rajaji Hall 8 August to pay homage to late Karunanidhi, whose mortal remains were kept there to enable public pay their last respects, there was confusion in the security apparatus and a big lapse in the security of the SPG protectee.
“Rahul Gandhi was literally isolated and made to wade through a huge crowd of emotionally charged people in the overcrowded staircase of Rajaji Hall,” he claimed, and sought a judicial probe into alleged lapses.
The petitioner said the police had resorted to lathicharge on the public who came to pay tribute to the departed leader as a result of which three people died.
He sought ex gratia of Rs 20 lakh each to the families of those who died. A video-clipping showed one security officer in front of Rahul and another precariously clinging to the half-rail of the staircase, both exposing their pistols and other arms they were carrying to the crowd, he submitted.
Alleging there was a ‘grave’ security lapse, the petitioner said the administration had neither provided any surveillance cameras nor metal detector to screen people accompanying the VIP.
After battling for life in a private hospital here for about 10 days, Karunanidhi breathed his last 7 August and his funeral took place the next day.