Special Correspondent

Allegations of atrocities at K.V.K. Kuppam

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered a District Judge-level probe into allegations of atrocities levelled against Fisheries Minister K.P.P. Swamy and his kin at K.V.K. Kuppam.

Passing orders on a public interest litigation petition filed by K. Anjappan of K.V.K Kuppam, near Tiruvottriyur, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and Justice K. Chandru said the High Court Registrar (Vigilance) R. Mala would hold an inquiry into the alleged incidents and submit a report to the court within four weeks. The venue of the inquiry shall be the district munsif court at Tiruvottriyur, the Bench said, adding that necessary police protection should be given for the conduct of the inquiry. Parties were at liberty to adduce oral or documentary evidence before the Commission.

According to the petitioner, the Minister and his brothers unleashed violence and atrocities on the Kuppam people, as most of them had not voted for the DMK in the last Assembly polls. The local police as well as higher officials did not respond to complaints. A.L. Somayaji, senior counsel for the petitioner, submitted that 200 fishermen were being hounded by the Minister's kin and not even allowed to enter the village. He prayed for an interim compensation of Rs. 1 lakh and final damages of Rs. 5 lakh, besides deployment of paramilitary forces for security. He also sought an impartial inquiry by a retired High Court Judge into the complaints. Denying the allegations, the Government Pleader said more patrol parties and more police personnel had been sent to the K.V.K. Kuppam area.