The Madras High Court today issued notice to the CBI on a PIL seeking a probe by the agency into the police firing in Tuticorin in which 13 people lost their lives. A vacation bench of justices T Ravindran and P Velmurugan directed the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary to consider the representations of the petitioner, an advocate, in this regard. The bench posted the matter to May 30 following a request from Narmadha Sampath, Additional Advocate General, representing the Home Secretary, for filing the counter. The petitioner alleged that it was prima facie clear that several police personnel were directly involved in the killings.
Submitting that the CBI on its own cannot initiate investigation and the concurrence of the state government was necessary, the petitioner said he had already sent representations in this regard to the Home Secretary. Only a probe by the central agency, which is answerable only to the special bench of the high court, would infuse confidence and assure people that the law of the land is prevailing, the petitioner submitted.
Referring to the shutdown of Internet services in Tuticorin and surrounding districts, the petitioner said people were unable to know the “real happenings”. “The state has no right to deny its citizens the right to use Internet services,” he said. Responding to a query from the bench on Internet shutdown which has affected students applying for engineering courses, the AAG submitted that normalcy was restored only after Internet services were snapped in the three districts of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.
Besides, the facility for submitting applications in these districts have been extended for another three days, the AAG said. Violent protests erupted in Tuticorin on May 22 as locals took to the streets demanding closure of a copper factory of the Vedanta group over pollution concerns, leading to police firing. Over 100 people were arrested for protesting police firing on Tuesday and Wednesday in the port city that left 13 dead.