Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Pattali Makkal Katchi on Monday demanded an enquiry by an independent body into police claims on encounter deaths.

Addressing a press conference here, party founder S. Ramadoss said the police had claimed that there were several cases filed against those who were killed in such encounters. “Had it been so, why did not the police take proper legal action against them? Why is it that the police have not been able to get them convicted even in one case? Punishing them in the name of encounters is tantamount to murder,” he said. In the last 10 years, 68 persons had died in such encounters in the State.

Quoting a National Human Rights Commission order, Dr. Ramadoss said pending the completion of enquiry, police officers involved in encounters should remain suspended. It was up to them to prove that the encounters were genuine. Citing the Supreme Court order of September 2006, he said there should be a police complaints redress authority with full powers.

The State government should take the initiative in this regard.

When reminded that his earlier suggestion for a law for prevention of organised crime would lead to more powers for the police, the PMK leader replied that the powers and functions of the police should be regulated. He was not against encounters under genuine circumstances. But, the police should not enact encounters and liquidate people.