Sterlite violence: CBI registers fresh case against TN police, revenue officials


The CBI has registered a fresh case of criminal conspiracy, robbery, dacoity and disobeying law to cause injury against police and revenue department officials of Tamil Nadu in connection with the police firing on anti-Sterlite protesters on May 22 in Thoothukudi in which 13 people lost their lives, officials said on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

This is the second case pertaining to the incident.

The case has been registered against unidentified officials on the basis of a complaint from K. Arjunan, district secretary, CPI(M).

The agency had covered most of the issues raised in Mr. Arjunan’s complaint in its FIR dated October 8, officials said.

“Perusal of written complaint dated May 29, 2018 discloses prima facie commission of offence…by unknown persons and public servants from police and revenue department,” the FIR said.

The fresh FIR has been registered under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy, public servants disobeying law with intent to cause injury to any person, framing incorrect document to cause injury, robbery, dacoity, criminal intimidation and acts done in furtherance of common intention.

Acting on a batch of petitions related to the police firing, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, on August 14, asked the premier investigation agency to probe the incident.

The Police opened fire on protesters on the 100th day of protests as locals allegedly turned violent demanding the closure of the Sterlite copper plant, a unit of the Vedanta group, over purported pollution concerns.

The 13 deaths drew widespread condemnation by Opposition political parties, led by the DMK.

Relief for victims

The petitions, which sought relief for the victims, registration of murder case against police officers for allegedly deploying snipers, a probe by a High Court judge and the CBI, were heard by a Division Bench of Justices C T Selvam and Basheer Ahmed.

“It can hardly be expected that any investigation, either into the wrongdoings of the protesters or of the police or administration, would inspire confidence if entrusted to agencies of this State,” the Bench had said.

It further said the State government was liable to answer certain questions on the firing as it noted that the absence of the District Collector was rather unusual in the face of definite input of anti-social elements infiltrating the 100th day of protest, which prompted the promulgation of ban orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in the area.

Also, the Bench had noted that police firing was ordered by an official who was not a jurisdictional executive magistrate and admittedly on his assuming powers which he did not possess.

“Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion and not only must justice be done it must also be seen to be done,” it had said. (PTI)

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