MADURAI: A fact-finding report brought out by a team of members of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and advocates on the violence in Madurai on the last day of pro-jallikattu protests has accused the police of “intentionally attacking” the protesters, particularly in Alanganallur and Sellur, to “create fear psychosis.”
Presenting the report to the media here on Tuesday, R. Murali, State general secretary of PUCL, alleged that the police and the government wanted to ensure that no such peaceful protests by youngsters happened in the future, by scaring the protesters with brutal attacks and foisted cases.
He said that many youngsters had sustained severe injuries and many others were absconding from their homes owing to fear of arrest.
“In Sellur, men working in small workshops, who supplied food and water to the protesters, were picked and beaten up. Similarly, in Alanganallur, those who gave shelter to the protesters from other places were harassed by the police using abusive language,” he alleged, adding that those arrested and later remanded in judicial custody were subjected to custodial violence.
Citing the enquiries the team made with people from Alanganallur and Sellur, A. Vanchinathan, a Madurai-based advocate and Coordinator of People’s Rights Protection Centre, alleged that violence in both the places was “clearly provoked by the police.” He alleged that the police had also targeted religious minorities among the arrested persons, isolated them from others and made “unwarranted enquiries of their background.”
Mr. Murali alleged that the belongings of protesters, including expensive mobile phones and wallets, had been taken away by the police and not yet returned.
PUCL and the team of lawyers demanded a public enquiry by a High Court Judge and filing of cases against the policemen responsible for the attacks and vandalism. They also sought adequate compensation, with interim relief, for the victims.