TAMIL NADU

Relief to Marad victims: NHRC seeks report

NEW DELHI SEPT. 21 . The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Chief Secretary of Kerala to submit a report within four weeks on the issue of compensation to those affected by the incidents in Marad, in Kozhikode district on May 2 in which nine persons were killed.

Acting on a complaint from T. Suresh, secretary of the Marad Araya Samajam, the Commission had asked the State Director General of Police (DGP) to inform it about the status of the case pending in the High Court.

The complainant had brought to the notice of the Commission that on May 2, Muslim terrorists armed with deadly weapons and explosives had attacked Hindu fishermen and nine persons, including eight fishermen, had been killed and 16 others, including a woman, seriously injured.

In response to the notice on the complaint, the DGP informed the Commission that investigation of the cases relating to the incident had been entrusted to the CB CID, the investigation had been supervised by an officer of the rank of Inspector General of Police and the charge-sheet had been filed.

The DGP also informed the Commission that the Kerala High Court had looked into the need for handing over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation, but had allowed the Kerala Police to complete the investigation.

`Revenge killing'

Accordingly, the police had wrapped up the probe into the Marad carnage and concluded that it was a "revenge killing", notwithstanding the claims made by several others, including Union Ministers, on the massacre, seen as the biggest scar on the State's claim to communal amity.

The special investigation team of the Crime Branch denied involvement of any outside agencies in the incident.

Listing 150 people, mostly hailing from the violence-hit area, as the accused, the Crime Branch had arrived at the conclusion that it was meticulously planned and carried out by the kin of the victims, killed in a similar communal conflagration in January 2002.

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