Apex court asks for report on erring cops

Friday, February 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Friday asked the Tamil Nadu government what action it has taken against policemen who reportedly were mute spectators to a clash between two groups of students in a law college in Chennai.

The clash took place between students of Thevar and Scheduled Castes communities of Dr. Ambedkar Law College in November 2008.

The apex court bench of Justice B. Sudarshsan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar sought the report after senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner K. Saravanan Karuppaswamy, told the court that so far no action has been taken against the erring police officials

The petitioner has sought an independent investigation, either by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the Nov 12, 2008 incident.

The petitioner said that while the violence raged in the campus, the police did not intervene because it said that it had no complaint or permission (from the principal) to enter the college premises.

The petitioner said the assaulting students had the backing of the ruling party, thus the police looked the other way when innocent students were being bashed up.

On Oct 29, 2008, on the occasion of ‘Thevar Jayanti’, Thevar students brought out posters and pamphlets describing the college as Government Law College instead of Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College.

The students belonging to the Scheduled Castes community objected to the omission of Ambedkar in the posters and pamphlets.

The simmering discontent among the students of the communities eventually culminated in the clash within the college campus Nov 12, 2008.

The Tamil Nadu government, in its affidavit, said that as a precautionary measure police was posted outside the college, but as the incident took place within the campus the cops could not immediately enter the premises.

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