The Kerala Cabinet on Wednesday decided to order a judicial enquiry into the police firing in Kasaragod town.
A Muslim League worker had died in the police firing during a reception organised by the Muslim League to its leaders in the town on November 15. The police reportedly damaged several vehicles later to justify the firing.
Announcing the decision to order the probe, Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan said that matter incidental to the firing would also be included in the terms of reference for the enquiry.
Our Special Correspondent Girish Menon adds:
The United Democratic Front has proposed a four-point charter of demands in connection with the Kasargod police firing and the Government decision to conduct a judicial enquiry into the incident.
The UDF high power committee, which met here on Wednesday, insisted on a probe by a sitting judge of the High Court or a person in the rank of a sitting district judge. It also wanted the Government to discuss the terms of reference of the judicial probe in view of the gaps in police investigation into the circumstances leading to the police firing that resulted in the death an Indian Union Muslim League worker. Another person was stabbed to death at another place as a fall out of the incident that occurred on Sunday last during an IUML rally in Kasargod town.
The UDF HPC noted the Cabinet decision early in the day to order a judicial probe, but wanted the Government to suspend the Kasargod Superintendent of Police Ramdas Pothen for giving orders for the police firing without observing proper procedures. The UDF convener P P Thankachan, while addressing a press conference after the HPC meeting, said the UDF wanted the Government to register a case of homicide against the Superintendent of Police.
The HPC discussed the report of its sub-committee, headed by Janata Dal (S) leader M P Veerendra Kumar, on its findings relating to the police firing. The committee, besides recommending a judicial probe by a sitting judge, pointed out to the attempts to give the clash a communal colour. It put the blame on the CPI (M) leadership for this and felt only a judicial probe would reveal the party's alleged conspiracy in stoking tensions in Kasargod and Kannur districts, which had reported violence in the aftermath of the police firing.
Mr. Thankachan said a delegation of the UDF high power committee will visit Kasargod as a follow up of the sub-committees report. The district liaison committee of Kasargod will be convened and the future course of action would be decided, he said. Mr. Thankachan said the UDF leaders would also meet the Chief Minister and place before him the coalitions demands.