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CHENNAI: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes is of the tentative opinion that the police could have intervened and prevented the clash between students at the Dr. Ambedkar Government Law College, Chennai, its Secretary (in-charge), S.S. Sharma said on Monday.
“The police should not have waited for orders or complaint from anybody when a cognizable offence was happening in front of their eyes. They could have prevented the situation from getting bad to worse…but, they simply stood as bystanders. This is not expected of a police force,” Mr. Sharma told The Hindu here.
He said the Commission took suo motu cognizance of the issue based on media reports. “We will investigate the matter under Article 338 of the Constitution as members of the Scheduled Caste have been injured and the police did not protect them. This will be an independent investigation. If need be, we will invite the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police of Tamil Nadu to New Delhi to seek more information.”
Mr. Sharma said the injured Dalit students had told him that it was the caste Hindu students who first attacked them, and they had only retaliated.
“We have collected newspaper reports and spoken to relevant persons in this regard,” he said and added that the full Commission would meet under the chairmanship of Buta Singh and submit its report to the President. Earlier in the day, Mr. Sharma met Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathi and DGP K.P. Jain and held discussions on the issue.
Three Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses parked at the Broadway bus stand were damaged when two unidentified youths threw stones at them on Sunday night.
The suspects came on a motorcycle. MTC employees tried to apprehend them, but they escaped. Based on a complaint lodged by a bus conductor, the Esplanade police have registered a case.
Ayyathurai, one of the injured students admitted in the General Hospital, received an intimidating short messaging service (SMS) on Monday. It warned that he would face dire consequences if he came to the college.
Commissioner of Police K. Radhakrishnan said Cyber Crime police tracked down the sender within hours.
The SMS was sent by Ayyathurai’s friend and college mate Muthuramalingam, who was with him at the hospital. “He says he sent the SMS for fun. We are enquiring into it,” he said.
Ravi Varman of Kallakurichi in Cuddalore district, one of the accused wanted in the clash, surrendered in a Chengalpet court. Murugesan of Sivagri (Tirunelveli district) and Ashok Kumar of Chennai were arrested by the police.
Tension prevailed on the Government Hospital premises after James Anandan (40), claiming to be a Law College student, doused himself with kerosene and attempted self-immolation.
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