Madurai HC directs CBI to probe Thoothukudi firings

Chennai: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today ordered CBI investigation into the Thoothukudi police firings that killed 13 people who were protesting against the Sterlite Copper smelter plant.

The case was earlier handled by the Tamilnadu police.

The court also dismissed the cases registered against six members of Makkal Adhikaram organisation, booked under the National Security Act in connection with the protest.

A two-judge bench consisting of Justices Basheer Ahamed and C T Selvam passed the order after hearing more than 15 PILs requesting a CBI probe into the firings and alleged police brutality on the 100th day of the anti-Sterlite protest that killed 13 people and injured over 100.

A total of 173 FIRs were registered on the protestors on 22 May and several people were arrested.

The PILs put forth many requests to the court like providing adequate compensation for the protestors who were illegally detained by the police, additional relief measures to the family of the 13 people who were killed, request for murder cases to be registered against top Thoothukudi district authorities including Collector and suspension of police cases against registered against more than 100 protestors.

Over the course of hearing, the police and district authorities submitted many documents pertaining the orders passed on that fateful day.

The document submitted to the court by the authorities consisted a copy of the first FIR filed in connection with the protest and the internet blackout ordered by the government at the height of the protest.

Earlier, the court, on 2 August had ordered the Tamilnadu police to investigate and club all the FIRs filed against the protestors during the anti-Sterlite protest into a single FIR. The court directed that all the FIRs be converted into statements made by witnesses under section 161 (3) of the IPC.

However today, the court observed that since the police were involved in the firing, it would not be right for them to investigate their own case. So it transferred the investigations to the CBI.

AGITATION & ARGUMENTS

A total of 173 FIRs were registered on the protestors on 22 May and several people were arrested.

The PILs put forth many requests to the court like providing adequate compensation for the protestors, additional relief measures to the family of the 13 people who were killed etc.

Other demands include request for murder cases to be registered against top Thoothukudi district authorities including Collector and suspension of police cases against more than 100 protestors.

The police and district authorities submitted many documents pertaining the orders passed on that fateful day

NT Bureau