The Tamil Nadu police have formed a Special Investigation Team to probe the Kallakurichi riots on Sunday following the death of a Class XII girl student on the hostel premises of a private school on July 13, 2022.
Acting on the directions of the Madras High Court, State Director-General of Police C. Sylendra Babu formed the SIT to be headed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Salem Range, Praveen Kumar Abhinapu.
“The SIT shall unearth the entire conspiracy behind this incident, identify all the violators who are captured very well in the video footage, the persons who formed WhatsApp groups, spread false news which resulted in rioting, and take action as per law,” the DGP said.
Mr. Babu said the SIT would also take appropriate action to identify those who used YouTube to spread fake news and conducted parallel trials. Such YouTube channels would be blocked. The team was told to file a status report before the Madras High Court on the next date of hearing on the nature of investigation conducted in identifying the perpetrators of the crime.
While Mr. Abhinapu was allowed to choose his team of officers to assist in the investigation, the DGP named two Superintendents of Police rank officers - S. Radhakrishnan, Commandant, 5th Battalion, Avadi, and M. Kingshlin, Superintendent of Police, Crime Against Women and Children, Chennai, and three Additional Superintendents of Police, to assist the team.
The SIT would take over all the cases registered in the Chinnasalem police station relating to the incident. Besides various sections of IPC, including rioting, the local police had also invoked provisions under the Tamil Nadu Public Property Damages Act.
A few police officials, including the Villuppuram Range DIG M. Pandian, suffered serious injuries in the violent protests that lasted more than a couple of hours on the national highways on Sunday, police sources said.
Police sources said that the CB-CID would investigate the circumstances that led to the death of the girl. The violent protests that followed would be probed by the SIT.
In a related development, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M. K. Stalin, who has been advised to rest for a week following his discharge from a private hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19, reviewed the situation in Kallakurichi over video conference with senior officials on Tuesday.
Collector, SP shifted
Meanwhile, the State government transferred Kallakurichi Collector P.N. Sridhar. Sravan Kumar Jatavath will be the new Collector. It also transferred the Kallakurichi Superintendent of Police, S. Selvakumar. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Triplicane, Chennai, P. Pakalavan, was posted as the new SP of Kallakurichi, police sources said.