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Panel to view televised statements of leaders on Haveri firing incident

Special Correspondent

Bangalore: The Justice Kedambady Jagannatha Shetty Commission of Inquiry, probing the firing on farmers on June 10, 2008, will be looking into statements made on the incident by political leaders and others in the electronic media, even as the commission’s hearings are in progress.

In response to an application made by commission advocate Madhusudan Adiga, Justice Shetty ordered that CDs of programmes telecast on private television channels, in which Congress leader R.V. Deshpande and others made statements on the Haveri incident, be summoned for viewing by the commission. A few participants in the television programmes had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party Government in power of being responsible for the police firing on the agitating farmers, which resulted in the death of two persons.

The commission will be viewing the CDs to decide whether airing of such views in the media while the commission is inquiring into the incident amounts to “interference in the course of justice”. Action will be taken after viewing the CDs, it said.

Later, Vice-President of the Janata Dal (Secular) Youth Wing, Suresh Hosamani, was cross-examined by the commission advocate. Mr. Hosamani, a witness to the incident, claimed that Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses had been set afire by a boy who had participated in the BJP procession organised on the same day against hike in petrol prices, and not by farmers who were agitating demanding fertilizers. He had, however, not given a complaint in this regard to local authorities and political leaders, he said, in the course of the cross-examination. Mr. Hosamani added that not all the people injured in the incident had received compensation. Many of the injured were daily wage labourers, who were bystanders, he said.

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