The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to appoint an IGP, other than those heading South and Central zones, to enquire into allegations of human rights violations during a clash between the police and Popular Front of India (PFI) members in Ramanathapuram on February 17.

A Division Bench of Justice R. Sudhakar and Justice V.M. Velumani ordered that the IGP should begin the enquiry forthwith and submit a report to the Home Secretary and the DGP. The order was passed while disposing of a PIL petition filed by M. Mohamed Abbas of Social Democratic Party of India seeking a judicial enquiry.

The judges held that they were not inclined to order a judicial enquiry as the police probe into three cases registered in this connection was under way.

However, they acceded to a request by the petitioner’s counsel, W. Peter Ramesh Kumar, for an enquiry at least by a top-level police officer by considering a representation made by the petitioner to the Chief Minister’s cell.

During arguments, the counsel said the police had unleashed violence against the PFI members on a ‘Unity March,’ taken out in view of their foundation day, without any provocation.

Countering the argument, Additional Advocate General K. Chellapandian, assisted by Special Government Pleader B. Pugalendhi, said the PFI members had wilfully entered communally sensitive areas during the march.

The AAG said the organisers had violated conditions imposed by the police while granting nod to the march. They had deviated from the permitted route and entered a communally sensitive area.