Tamil Nadu

High Court posers to police on demonstrations

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Are there any guidelines for the police to handle agitations by persons with special needs?

Are there any guidelines for the police to handle demonstrations by persons with special needs? What assistance was provided to the visually challenged people to get back home after they were taken into custody for staging a demonstration last year and later released?

These were among the queries posed by the First Bench, of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, to the Chennai Police Commissioner on a public interest litigation petition. The court directed the police official to file an affidavit in two weeks.

In September last year, the court took up as a PIL petition a representation of R. Mohammed Nasrullah, an advocate. He said he was a senior member of the College Students and Graduates’ Association of the Blind. He said the blind persons staged a demonstration then and were on a fast in a peaceful manner to press their demands. The demands included a reduction in pass percentage in the Teacher Eligibility Test and implementation of the two per cent reservation in the posts of school teachers for them. But the police treated them in a “barbaric and brutal manner.” The demonstrators were beaten up, picked up and dropped at faraway places. The advocate sought the court’s intervention.

The Bench said the allegation was that the police took into custody visually challenged persons while they were holding a demonstration (permission had been granted). They were taken to different destinations, 70-80 km from the city, and left there to fend for themselves during the night.

An affidavit was filed by the Secretary to Government, which did not dispute the fact that the visually challenged were taken away. The authorities said the demonstrators were kept in community halls and wedding halls and provided food and water. They were allowed to leave on the same evening.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:50:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-posers-to-police-on-demonstrations/article6331144.ece

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