Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) leaders have alleged that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is shielding the police officer who opened fire from his service revolver at student agitators in Kozhikode on Monday.
Addressing a news conference after the House rose for the day, the Opposition leaders said the service revolver was not meant to be used against the people.
The police officer could use it only in self-defence. However, pictures carried by newspapers on Tuesday showed that the police officer had fired indiscriminately, pointing the revolver at the students.
Violation of manual
He had himself stated that he had done so. This amounted to gross violation of the police manual and all relevant norms and should be met with exemplary punishment, they said.
The LDF leaders, led by Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, refuted the suggestion that they had failed to focus on the graver aspects of the police officer's action, which was perhaps the first of its kind in the State, because of their emphasis on the root causes of the Students Federation of India agitation in Kozhikode.
Mr. Achuthanandan said he had repeatedly asked the Chief Minister whether it was appropriate to leave the police officer's action unpunished as it could result in similar action by others in future.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader C. Divakaran said the Chief Minister's attempt was to interpret the whole incident as something concerning the educational rights of an individual student.
Officers were not supposed to use their service revolver against the people. Despite Assistant Commissioner of Police (North) K. Radhakrishna Pillai having indulged in absolutely irresponsible behaviour, the Chief Minister was not prepared to condemn it, he said.
Janata Dal (S) leader Mathew T. Thomas said Mr. Chandy had actually justified the police officer's action by claiming that it was necessitated by the need to evacuate the other injured police personnel.
The government should take action against the officer if such things were not to happen in future, he said.