Mangaluru firing: People’s tribunal demands judicial probe

A people’s tribunal comprising of former Supreme Court Judge V. Gopala Gowda, former State Public Prosecutor B.T. Venkatesh and journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju, has reiterated the demand for judicial inquiry into the police firing on the violent protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act CAA that led to death of two persons on December 19, 2019.

In a 32-page report, they have said that a Judicial Commission of Inquiry “would give great opportunity and give confidence to public and to the police and would help in arriving at the truth of the incident”.

The tribunal was formed by Bengaluru-based Listening Post to hear persons affected by police firing. The tribunal members held a sitting in Mangaluru on January 6 and 7 where they met family members of the two deceased and other victims of police firing. There was no representation from the police.

Poor communication by police

Stating that the situation on December 18 did not warrant imposition of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the tribunal members said invocation of the prohibitory order was not properly conveyed to residents of the area. The police failed to effectively communicate the denial of permission for the protest called on December 19.

Hence civilians, who had no connection with the protest, were subjected to indiscriminate lathi-charge and police firing.

Abusive language

Statements of former Mayor K. Ashraf and others, the tribunal members said, gave details of the communal slurs and abusive language used by police personnel during the lathi-charge and firing. Police failed to give victims the CCTV footage of the attacks on the private armoury shop and Mangaluru North Police, which prompted the police to fire.

No reasons given

No reasons were suggested by police to justify excessive use of force at the Highland Hospital where the two deceased persons and persons injured by firing and lathi-charge were admitted.

Victims have suffered immense financial hardship because of lathi-charge and police firing. “Given the allegations of communalism against the police authorities in question and the palpably disproportionate use of force by police personnel, it is clear that the State and the officials in question are jointly liable for such transgressions,” they noted.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 4:42:59 AM |

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