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Public not vocal: jallikattu riot probe panel

The Enquiry commission, headed by retired Madras High Court Judge S Rajeswaran, to ascertain the law and order disturbances on January 23, has received a poor response from the public.

Public not vocal: jallikattu riot probe panel
File photo of the riots during the Jallikattu protest in Chennai


Meeting press persons here on Wednesday, Justice Rajeswaran has requested the public, any person with any knowledge on the law and order disturbances, to come forward and depose in front of the commission. 

“The enquiry commission is intended to go into the details of the law and order disturbances on January 23, not only in Chennai but in Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem and other places. The commission will consider what happened to private and public property _ the extent of damage and was there any excess on the part of the police. If there was any excess, what should be the action taken against the Police officials. What are the remedial measures for such an incident to not recur in future. Any person with knowledge should come forward, give three copies of the affidavit through post or in person and depose in front of the commission,” added the retired judge. 

Justice Rajeswaran also pointed out that till March 31, he has received only 128 affidavits, after advertising in major newspapers. 

“Out of the 128, 14 are from the general public, 17 are from public supporting the Police, 93 are from police personnel and four from the fire service personnel. All these are s from Chennai, but nothing has reached us from other places in Tamil Nadu. This is insufficient,” he said. 

This scenario, is starkly different from his visit to the ground. “When I went in person, many of the people requested action to be taken against the police personnel. To do that, I need concrete evidence regarding their role on the disturbances that day. This is a second opportunity for the public to give their affidavit by April 30, without fear to this enquiry commission. I don’t understand why people are hesitant,” he said, adding that once the affidavits have been examined, summons will be sent to individuals to come forth and depose. 

Justice Rajeswaran said that anybody can come forward to give information. “I received a letter from an independent person, wishing to say something to this commission. Anybody can come forward if they have the knowledge and want to contribute. I also will need authentic support by way of documents. Media houses and police too will be summoned to share their video footages for examination. Only then can we conduct the enquiry,” he concluded. 

On January 23, the pro-jallikattu protests turned violent across various parts of Tamil Nadu, leading to a law and order situation.

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