State defends police firing in report to Centre

A day after the Centre sought a detailed report into the Thoothukudi firing incidents in which 13 civilians were killed, the state government has sent a detailed report setting out the circumstances leading to the incident and defending the actions as necessitated in the wake of maintaining public order.
File photo of police in Thootukudi
File photo of police in Thootukudi

Chennai

The detailed dossier from the state also has drafted the extent of damage caused during the violence. It has also enumerated the number of vehicles damaged during the protest besides the casualties and injuries reported to the civilians and the police personnel involved to quell the incident.
Sources said the report has also explained in detail about the precautionary measures the state has taken through the district administration.
“The District Administration has run advertisements in newspapers on April 14 detailing measures the government had taken for its closure to pacify the protesters. The prohibitory orders were specifically issued that no procession should be taken out. The very idea of promulgation of prohibitory orders is that no incidence of law & order breakdown crops up. Despite the orders, the crowd of over 20,000 protesters took out a march and gheraoed the Collectorate. The mob that broke into the Collectorate went on a rampage setting vehicles on fire besides stoning the Collector’s office,” it said.
“The district administration has had 14 meetings with the agitators over the past 4-5 months where locals were briefed on steps undertaken by the government to shut the plant,” said a senior official.
“The report would have such instances explained which would also go into the need to open fire under such circumstances,” the official added.
On Thursday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “The MHA has taken cognisance of the situation and sought a report on the incident and the prevailing situation from the state government.”
He has called for a report stating that he was deeply pained at the loss of precious lives during the agitation at Thoothukudi.

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