IGP transferred over Thoothukudi police firing

Several IPS officers also given new postings

Updated - June 10, 2018 08:21 am IST

Published - June 09, 2018 11:46 pm IST - MADURAI

In the wake of the police firing during an anti-Sterlite rally in Thoothukudi on May 22, which claimed 13 lives, the State government has transferred the Inspector General of Police (south zone), Shailesh Kumar Yadav, the top police official in the southern district. Mr. Yadav has been posted as IGP, Armed Police.

Sources in the office of the Director General of Police (DGP), Chennai, requesting anonymity, told The Hindu on Saturday that the south zone officials had kept the government “in the dark” about the situation on the ground when trouble was brewing in Thoothukudi.

Usually, inputs on the participants [of an agitation] would be available well ahead of the event (known as ‘forecast’ in police parlance). An approximation of the crowd expected at the event would enable the police to mobilise their strength. In the case of the anti-Sterlite rally, though the local police were aware that May 22 was the 100th day of the protest demanding the permanent closure of Sterlite Copper, there was no clarity on the number of protesters who would be taking part in the rally, sources claimed.

The prohibitory order (Section 144 of CrPC) was issued only on the night of May 21, and there was no flag march by the police when the situation demanded, sources said.

Questions have been raised over whether the standard procedure for the arrest of rioters was followed. It may be recalled that advocates of the Thoothukudi Bar Association raised this issue with judicial officers, leading to the release of those who had apparently been detained illegally. During their inspection of violence-hit areas, members of human rights panels were briefed about “serious lapses” in the firing and subsequent actions of the authorities. Even as the Intelligence Wing decided to deploy more personnel, the actual situation on the ground was never brought to the notice of higher officials in Chennai. Thus, the authorities lost control over the law and order situation, leading to chaos, sources said.

The police personnel who opened fire were also examined by senior officers.

New IGP for south zone

Human rights activists have demanded a thorough probe and registration of murder cases against the police personnel involved in the firing.

K.P. Shanmuga Rajeswaran, of the 1996 state police service (SPS) batch, is the new IGP (south zone). in Tirunelveli, Mahender Kumar Rathod replaced Kapil Kumar Saratkar as DIG/Commissioner of Police.

Inspector General of Police (Welfare) Davidson Devasirvatham has been posted as Commissioner of Police (Madurai city), replacing Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, who has been posted as IG Special Investigation Division (CB-CID), Chennai.

Inspector General of Police (Additional Commissioner, Headquarters) S.N. Seshasai has been posted as IGP (Welfare).

Inspector General of Police (crimes) N. Baskaran has been posted as IGP (T.N. Police Academy, Oonamanchery).

DIG of Police N.Z. Asiammal (Training) has been posted as DIG (Technical Services), in place of Mr. Mahender Kumar Rathod.

S. Manoharan, who was on compulsory wait, has been posted as Commissioner of Police (Tirupur city), replacing P. Nagarajan, who has been posted as IGP (Training), Chennai.

J. Bhaskaran, DIG of Police (Social Justice and Human Rights, Chennai), on promotion, has been posted as IGP (Operations), Chennai.

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