Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha on Wednesday told the Gujarat High Court that police used excessive force during the Patel community's agitation for reservations last month and also accepted that policemen vandalised vehicles in a housing society in Sola area.
"The inquiry clearly identifies use of excessive police force to the extent of causing damage to private property of the petitioners," said Jha in a report submitted to Justice J B Pardiwala.
"Criminal culpability or otherwise of these acts of the policemen is subject matter of the investigation to be conducted after filing FIR before competent authority," he added.
On August 27, the High Court had directed the police to conduct an inquiry and file a report in response to a petition alleging that police had vandalised private property and fired in the air in Sola area here on August 25, the day the Patel community held a massive rally here to seek reservations.
Virat Popat and Tirth Bhatt, city-based lawyers, alleged in the petition that around 40 policemen entered their housing society `Astha Bungalows' and vandalised vehicles.
Police also lobbed teargas shells, they said.
Jha said that teargas shells were lobbed. "To control the unruly and irate mob, police fired four rounds of teargas shells and a light lathi-charge was done to disperse the mob. The mob which ran into the various societies was chased by the police party," the report said.
"In that hot pursuit of the rioting mob, a section of the police party...Entered into the Astha Bungalows....They damaged the windshields of three vehicles belonging to the petitioners," Jha said.
But he also claimed that police had essentially used force to disperse the mob which attacked Sola road police chowki. The next hearing of the case is after two weeks.