Panel chief visits villages and meets the families of victims

Justice Sampath Commission, which has been appointed by the State Government to inquire into the police firing at Paramakudi, which claimed the lives of six Dalits, began its enquiry on Tuesday.

Justice K. Sampath visited the Five Point junction at Paramakudi, where the clash erupted between the agitators and the police on September 11when a group of Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam cadres staged a road roko demanding the release of their leader John Pandian.

Assisted by the revenue officials, Justice Sampath inspected the firing place, the places where government and private vehicles were burnt and the zones where stones were thrown d by the agitators. He also studied the topography of Paramakudi and firing place using a map. Later, he went to the memorial of Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran in Paramakudi.

After meeting the representatives of Dalits forums, Justice Sampath visited three villages and met the family members and relatives of those killed in the police firing. When they narrated the incidents, he gave them a patient hearing. They claimed that the victims were targeted above waist by the police. Most of the victims went to Paramakudi on the fateful day for various reasons. They also claimed that the police didn't follow the standard procedures before opening fire at the protestors. He also enquired about the families of victims.

Earlier, Collector V. Arun Roy, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ravikumar, who is holding additional charge, the Superintendent of Police Mahesh Kumar and others met him at the Circuit House in Ramanathapuram. V. Balasundarakumar, District Sessions Judge, also made a courtesy call.

Meanwhile, the residents of Pachery near Mandalamanickam, where a Dalit boy Palanikumar was murdered by a gang, raised black flags at their houses, protesting against the Commission of Enquiry. They also staged a demonstration at the village stating that they didn't have confidence in the Commission of Enquiry.

Mr. Sampath will continue his enquiry in Ramanathapuram on Wednesday also.