Protection ordered for Manalmedu Sankar

J. Venkatesan

Supreme Court acts on plea from father of the accused

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Tamil Nadu police to ensure the safety of Manalmedu Sankar, when he is produced in the court in connection with the cases pending against him.

A Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S.H. Kapadia gave this direction during `mention' time on a petition filed by M. Manian, father of Sankar, when senior counsel K. Subramanyan told the court that there was apprehension that Sankar would be killed by the Tamil Nadu police in an encounter when he is to be brought to the trial court on December 8. The Bench, though dismissed the writ petition, said the agency concerned would ensure Sankar's safety when he was brought to the court for trial.

Counsel drew the attention of the Bench to newspaper reports that Sankar was in the `hit list' of the police after the killing of Ravi in an encounter in Tiruchi recently. When the Bench indicated that it would not entertain the petition, counsel insisted that the court must ensure the safety of Sankar. The Bench said it was needless to say that the agency concerned must ensure the safety of Sankar when he was produced in the trial court.

In his petition, Mr. Manian said in the last two-and-a-half-years, 18 persons were shot dead in encounters in Tamil Nadu.

The modus operandi of the police was to paint a picture of the person killed as being a major underworld don or gang leader who shot at the police and in retaliation the accused was killed. He said there was apprehension that his son would also be killed in a similar fashion.