The Rural police team investigating the alleged vandalism in the name of protests against the ongoing Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) pipe-laying works in Mukkom has started examining the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera visuals from various locations to track all involved in the incidents. So far, 23 persons have been arrested.
Officials said a special squad had been formed to investigate the six cases already registered in the limits of Mukkom police station. The cases were registered against those who attacked the police and damaged the properties of GAIL, claimed to be worth ₹70 lakh.
GAIL authorities have lodged a complaint with the police seeking action against the attackers and compensation for the loss. They also requested to strengthen security cover in areas where local residents were agitating against the project.
Meanwhile, various political parties and trade unions have claimed that the police action was an attempt to suppress a mass agitation with the clear direction of ‘someone in power’. They alleged that the police were mercilessly handling even people who had no association with the protest.
A. Vasu, State president of the Social Democratic Trade Union, on Monday called for a judicial investigation into the incident in which the police cruelly beaten up even children and the elderly. They forcefully entered several houses and detained people who had no involvement in the attack on the police, he said.
P. Abdul Hameed, State vice president of the organisation, accused the police of unleashing brutal attack on people who were detained from various locations and taken to the police station. Instead of charging any case, many of them were allowed to go after the custodial torture, he alleged.
C.K. Kasim, an Indian Union Muslim League leader from Mukkom and district panchayat member, said the police tried to create communal disintegration in the area by torturing people from a particular community.
“They released only misleading figures about the arrests. So far, 35 persons have been arrested and 14 of them were sent to the Manjeri jail,” he claimed.