Alka Verma-

Published on: September 14, 2021 at 10:50 IST

The Madras High Court said on Monday that the police firing of 2018 on protesting civilians in Tuticorin is a scar on Democracy and must not be forgotten.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice TS Sivagnanam made the statement while dealing with a PIL filed by social activist Henry Tiphagne.

The PIL was over a report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the police firing which was not being made public.

“The incident is of the year 2018. It really has gone out of public mind but there were fifteen or sixteen citizens who lost their lives. That kind of incident should be a scar on the face of our democracy. We should never forget. If there can be something that can be done for families apart from what is done (let us do that) … there has to be closure…our system delays so much, that sometimes the entire idea is lost,” stated the Court.

Justice Banerjee further stated that if there is any involvement of any Corporate Body, it must be disclosed.

“We want an answer as to what instigated … what were the circumstances? Without meaning disrespect, yes, the protest may not have been legal or legitimate, but citizens cannot be fired on the behalf of any corporate body…That is very important for the citizens of the State to know… (we have to) try and see that this kind of an incident does not happen again,” stated Justice Banerjee.

The Bench also asked to compensate all the victims and also to the families of deceased ones.

Further the Court directed the CBI that the investigation must have a meaningful end.

“The matter should be brought to its logical end as expeditiously as possible to give a meaningful closure to the matter and the circumstances in which firing had to be resorted to against unarmed citizens must come out in the report,” directed the Court.

This case is about locals protesting against Vedanta’s copper unit Sterlite over pollution concerns which ended up in Police firing and 13 losing their lives.

Click here to read/download the Order

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