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Encounter deaths: High Court orders notice to police

Special Correspondent

Sister of victims says the incident was "stage-managed" by police Interim compensation sought for families of victims The incident was "stage-managed" by police, says sister of victims

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered notices to the Home Secretary, Director-General of Police, Chennai City Commissioner of Police, among others on a petition seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into an alleged encounter in which three persons were killed by police.

Justice P.D. Dinakaran ordered the notices after admitting the writ petition filed by N. Bommi, who said her two brothers — Krishnan and Murugan — and a third man, Govindan, were gunned down by police on November 21, 2002.

Submission

Ms. Bommi, belonging to a scheduled tribe community, submitted that her brothers were picked up by the Thoraipakkam police at least one week prior to the alleged encounter, and added that their wives too had been charged with criminal cases and remanded to judicial custody.

She said the children of the victims were in her custody, and added that she and the children had suffered constant threats from the police.

Casting doubt on the encounter version, the petitioner said usually police took independent witnesses to attest the recovery mahazars as and when hidden arms were unearthed.

It was hard to believe that one of the victims snatched a police revolver and attempted to shoot the accompanying police personnel, who had no other option but to gun down the victims in self-defence.

The petitioner said police had taken neither independent witnesses nor escorts during the incident. "Unless the killing was pre-planned, the police would have never taken the accused in the absence of any police constables as escorts," she said.

Stating that the victims were gypsies with no knowledge of firearms, she discounted the police theory that they tried to shoot at the police. They said the injuries received by the police personnel during the alleged encounter was improbable because the entry and exit wounds caused by the bullets were of same size.

Had the injured police personnel really accompanied the deceased, then they would have admitted themselves in the Government Hospital at Royapettah, where the bodies were taken, and not at a private hospital situated more than 30 km away, she said.

She said it was "stage-managed" at the instance of the then Superintendent of Police, Chengalpattu (East).

She prayed for interim compensation to the families of the victims, besides seeking CBI probe into the whole episode.

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