The Paramakudi incidents in which six Dalits were shot dead was completely a police-engineered violence and shootout says the preliminary report of a fact-finding team of People's Watch, a Madurai-based human rights organisation.
The team, led by its Tamil Nadu director C.J. Rajan, found that not all the deaths were owing to police firing but there were cases of “brutal” police torture of some select Dalit activists by K.A. Senthil Velan, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Adyar, who was on deputation in Paramakudi, and Sivakumar, Inspector of Police, Paramakudi, said Henri Tiphagne, executive director, People's Watch.
People's Watch has gathered sufficient evidence to conclude that the police firing was not preceded by the mandatory lathi charge and use of teargas.
Moreover, most of the injuries and bullets have also been found above the waist of the victims.
The post mortems conducted without the family members having even the slightest of access to the bodies in Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Paramakudi were indicative of what the police had to hide in the autopsy process said, Mr. Tiphagne. “A re-post mortem should be performed on all the bodies in the presence of family members and human rights defenders.”
The organisation also demanded that no high ranking police official should enter the affected districts of Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Tuticorin without the permission of the District Magistrate.
It also called upon the members of Dalit community to maintain calm at this critical moment.
They welcomed the judicial enquiry ordered into the incidents.