B. John Pandian, president of Tamilaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, has filed a petition in the Madras High Court Bench here seeking a direction to the Inspector General of Police (South Zone) to desist from harassing him if he happened to make a personal trip to Ramanathapuram district to express condolence to the families of those who died in police firing in Paramakudi on September 11.
Justice R. Mala on Wednesday directed an Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) to take notice on behalf of the police and file a counter affidavit or a status report by September 28 detailing the current situation prevailing in Ramanathapuram district. Earlier, the APP said that the situation was still tense and hence it would not be appropriate for the petitioner to visit the district.
In his petition, Mr. Pandian said that the Ramanathapuram Superintendent of Police had initially permitted him to pay homage at Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran's memorial at Paramakudi between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on September 11. However, on that day, the police changed their mind and detained him at the Vallanadu Shooting Range in Tuticorin when he was on his way to the memorial. He was also served with an order passed by the Ramanathapuram Collector under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure prohibiting him from entering the territorial limits of the district on that day. Shocked over such confinement, his party cadres decided to go on fast in Paramakudi to express their protest against the police action. “Feeling aggrieved, the police party deployed there have planned to disperse the protestors in one way or the other as a result of which they have not only opened firing but also brutally assaulted the people gathered therein. In fact, they did not even spare the women. In the inhuman attack, eight people died and 66 sustained grievous injuries,” he claimed.
On the same day, the Ramanathapuram Superintendent of Police passed an order under Section 144 (1) of Cr.P.C. prohibiting processions, rallies and meetings.