Court to inquire into police firing

Staff Reporter

Statements to be recorded from June 5

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A.M. Basheer, Judicial First Class Magistrate, will, from June 5, record the statements of witnesses to the police firing on the Cheriathura beach on Sunday.

The magistrate’s court decided on Tuesday to conduct a direct inquiry based on a petition filed by Neyyattinkara P. Nagarajan, advocate.

The petition charged Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and six others, including Director-General of Police Jacob Punnoose, with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, conspiracy, common intention and forgery in connection with the violence. The other accused are the Additional Director-General of Police V.R. Rajeevan, the Inspector-General of Police Vincent M. Paul, District Collector Sanjay Kaul, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Shanghumugham, Suresh Kumar, and Assistant Commissioner of Police, District Crime Records Bureau, E. Sharaffuddin.

Five persons were killed and several injured in violence on the beach on Sunday afternoon. The police, on Monday, said only two of them had died of bullet wounds. The petition alleged that the accused officials had ignored the warnings issued by the intelligence wing and the special branch of the police and had opened fire on the mob without warning. Mr. Rajeevan and Mr. Kaul did not take steps to ease the situation on the eve of the violence, when tension was rising.

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