District Collector P.B. Salim is considering serving a show cause notice on the two Tahsildars in connection with the police firing during the agitation by the Students' Federation of India in front of the Government Engineering College at West Hill on Monday.
Reliable sources told The Hindu here on Wednesday that Kozhikode Tahsidar N.M. Premraj and Special Tahsildar (Land Acquisition) Narenadra Prasad, who had been entrusted duties following a police request, had breached government rules in efficiently discharging their duties as well as going public on the police firing issue.
Mr. Premaj, who is an Executive Magistrate by virtue of his designation, had been asked to be present during the mob operation by the police in front of the college from 8.45 a.m. to 10.30 a.m, while Mr. Prasad was to be present 10.30 a.m. onwards, if necessary. However, both of them gave conflicting reports on the police firing. One of them had also given statements to the media, the sources said.
Meanwhile the City Commissioner of Police G. Sparjankumar has given a report to the Director General of Police (DGP) Jacob Punnoose stating that the Assistant Commissioner of Police (North) K. Radhakrishna Pillai , who fired into the air to control the agitation, was acting within his legal rights to disperse an unlawful assembly.
The report that has been sent to be State Police Chief with copies attached the Additional Director General of Police ( North) Rajesh Dewan and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Kannur Range) S. Sreejith, said firing was necessary to evacuate the violent mob that indulged in heavy stone-pelting. More than 35 police personnel suffered injuries and some had serious injuries on the head.
Police sources said that the sub –divisional officer, who reached at around 10 a,m. at the scene, had to fire four rounds from the service revolver when the agitators continued with the violence even after tear-gassing followed by a lathi-charge. The Nadakkavu Station House Office P. Shayam and Circle Inspector P.K. Santhosh could not manage the swelling crowd in front of the college when the protest turned violent after 9.30 a.m. Several persons in the guise of students tried to make trouble during the protest.
The Commissioner also pointed out taking orders from the Executive Magistrate were also irrelevant at that time. So the officer acted within his legal powers vested with him under Section 129 (dispersal of assembly by use of civil force) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and applicable sections of the new Kerala Police Act.
Incidentally, Mr. Radhakrishna Pillai had specially requested District Collector P.B. Salim, at around 8 a.m. for the presence of the Executive Magistrate during the mob operation. This was to ensure that a civil component was in place during the agitation. The police had to give protection to a student, Nirmal Madhav, following a verdict from the High Court of Kerala.
Reliable sources also said that the DGP has also asked Mr. Radhakrishna Pillai to furnish a statement regarding the circumstances that led him to open fire during a protest.