“Encounter Death” at Kodaikanal
PUCL Coimbatore, 19, April 2008
The State Committee meeting which was attended by Dr. V. Suresh, Advocate and President of PUCL, Tamil Nadu and Mr. S. Balamurugan, Advocate and General Secretary of PUCL, Tamil Nadu and various Executive Committee members, including Mr. M. Mohd. Abu Backer and Mr. Pon. Chandran, representing the Coimbatore Unit, passed the following resolutions, unanimously:
- While the State Committee was holding its meeting, the news of the “Encounter Death” of Mr. Naveen Prasad, reported to be a Maoist killed today in the Encounter, in the jungles of Kodaikanal, has come as a rude shock.
- Considering the notorious record of Tamil Nadu Police, particularly in the recent past, with regard to the so called “Encounter Deaths”, which were invariably found to be “fake encounters”, we have all the reasons to suspect the very cause of death.
- While the media claims that the Maoist was killed and four escaped in the “exchange of fire, between the militants and the police, for more than an hour”, the police claims that “they only returned the fire in the direction from where they were shot by the militants, while they were on rounds. Subsequently the police found a body of a Maoist shot dead”.
- It appears that the police “rounded up the militants” after a tip received about the militants hiding themselves in the jungle. In case, the Police had encircled the militants, one wonders how the others could escape from their encirclement?
- Well, it is a typical story of the police, in all encounters, which were proved to be fake, eventually during our earlier Fact Findings of such encounters.
- In the given context only an impartial medical/forensic report only would reveal the exact cause of death.
- In view of the “criminal record” of Tamil Nadu Police, in such instances, PUCL, Tamil Nadu-Puducherry, demand that a Judicial Inquiry is ordered forthwith to investigate into the cause of death and to know the whereabouts of those who have reported to have “escaped”, since we understand that an Habeas Corpus writ petition has been already filed to produce Viswanathan and four others, who were alleged to have been taken into custody by the STF.
- In the meanwhile, we condemn the action of the State, to scuttle the political opposition by resorting to illegal and violent means, using its machinery, without rhyme or reason.
- Finally, it is urged that the State refrains to look into the “militant dissent”, as a mere Law & Order problem but to tackle it from a broader socio-economic perspective. It is needless to emphasize that such violent means and killings by the State will only breed further counter violence, which is a desperate manifestation of the deeply rooted socio-economic evils in the society.
- The other organizational and other resolutions passed in the State Committee meeting will be advised separately.
M. MOHAMMED ABU BACKER