THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Ramesh Chennithala, president Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, said here on Sunday that the Home Department could not absolve itself of responsibility for death of six persons in violence and police firing at Cheriathura here.
In a statement here, he said the Police Department was in disarray.
Incidents such as the police firing occurred because of that.
He said the Home Department had been trying to protect the officials who were responsible for the police action at Cheriathura.
Though Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan admitted failure of the police, the Home Department refrained from taking strong action. “The policemen responsible for the firing should be charged with murder,” he said.
Mr. Chennithala said the failure of the police to take an anti-social element into custody in time and withdrawal of the police picket in the area had resulted in the build-up of tension and the clash. Higher police officials did not go to the spot or take steps to control the situation.
The firing was done without following the procedures. The officers, who were empowered to order firing, came to know of it only after the firing had taken place.
Besides, the government tried to portray the incident as a clash between two sections of society.
Law and order was on the brink of a breakdown on account of the politicisation of the police and inaction of the force.
The government lacked a police policy.
He urged that the assistance to the families of the dead should be increased to Rs.15 lakh.