Tamil Nadu

Police firing on anti-Sterlite protesters: Justice Aruna Jegadeesan Commission completes probe

Lawyer for the Commission  Arul Vadivel Sekar (far left)

Lawyer for the Commission Arul Vadivel Sekar (far left) | Photo Credit: RAJESH N

The Justice Aruna Jegadeesan Commission on Friday completed its three-and-a-half-year-long probe into the police firing during the anti-Sterlite protest that claimed 13 lives in May 2018.

 “The Commission will submit its report to the Tamil Nadu government within next three months,” the Commission’s advocate Arul Vadivel Sekar told reporters here on Friday after the end of the 36t h sitting in which six of the seven persons summoned, appeared before the Commission to record their statements.

 Since the Commission had recorded the statements of 1,048 persons and marked 1,544 documents as evidence, it would take at least three months to complete its report to be submitted to the State government.

Mr. Vadivel Sekar thanked profusely the district administration, the police, the Public Works Department, TANGEDCO, journalists and others for cooperating with the Commission for completing its probe.

The Commission, constituted by the Tamil Nadu Government after the killing of 13 persons in the police firing on May 22, 2018, started its probe on September 8, 2018, and had grilled the witnesses including the family members of the deceased, injured, representatives of political parties, advocates, journalists, doctors, fire and rescue services personnel, senior officials of police and the Revenue Department and the Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service officers during the past 36 sittings.

Of the 1,426 persons summoned by the Commission, 1,048 persons including former Chief Secretary Girija Vaidhyanathan, former Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi, former Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran and then Collectors and Superintendents of Police of Thoothukudi appeared before the Commission and recorded their statements. A total of 1,544 documents have been marked by the Commission as evidence.

 While most of the VIPs summoned appeared before the Commission, actor Rajinikanth, who had claimed that he had credible evidences to prove that the anti-social elements intruded the agitation caused violence and arson, did not turn-up before the Commission and just filed his affidavit through his advocate. He also disowned his earlier assertion saying that he did not have any evidence for the charges he had made earlier about the violence broke-out in the agitation.

After the DMK government assumed office in May 7, Justice Aruna Jegadeesan submitted her interim report to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on May 14 last. As per the recommendations of the Commission, 93 persons, who were arrested in connection with the agitation, were given ₹1 lakh each while ₹2 lakh was given to the mother of a person who died in jail after being arrested in connection with the anti-Sterlite violence.

While the main case handed over to the CBI and the cases pertaining to the destruction of government and private properties are now alive and investigated, other cases registered by the police in connection with the agitation and the violence were withdrawn, as per the recommendation of the Commission. Above all, government jobs were given to the family members of 13 deceased and 17 badly injured persons, as recommended by the Commission.

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Printable version | Sep 14, 2022 9:04:58 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/police-firing-on-anti-sterlite-protesters-justice-aruna-jegadeesan-commission-completes-probe/article65062154.ece