KERALA

Muthanga: CBI probing police 'excesses'

KOCHI NOV. 1. The atrocities allegedly committed by the police against the tribals in Muthanga are part of an inquiry being conducted by the CBI, according to a statement filed by the investigating agency before the High Court on Friday.

In a statement filed in response to a writ petition filed by C. K. Janu, Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha leader, seeking a CBI probe into the `atrocities', the CBI said that the Government had issued a notification on April 23 on the recommendations of the NHRC authorising the CBI to conduct an inquiry into the police firing, the circumstances which led to it and related incidents including allegations of torture.

Subsequently, the CBI had registered a preliminary inquiry on May 9, 2003.

Even as the inquiry was in progress, the Government had issued a notification in May 17, transferring seven cases registered by the police in connection with the police action to the CBI for further investigation.

The CBI, later, had re-registered the cases and taken up the investigation.

The CBI submitted that the inquiry into the allegation of atrocities against the tribals and the re-registered seven cases were being conducted simultaneously in an organised and systematic manner.

As for the alleged police excesses, it was essential that adivasis were examined in detail before interrogating/examining the police and forest officials.

As many as 206 persons including 150 adivasis had been examined so far. The available videotape on the incidents had been collected and studied.

The identification of adivasis, police personnel and others who were seen in the tape was being done.

The allegation raised by Ms Janu was being considered with all sincerity and seriousness as part of the inquiry.

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