Quota stir: Congress wants HC judge panel to probe "atrocities" by cops

Gujarat Congress on Tuesday demanded setting up of an inquiry commission, comprising a sitting High Court judge, to probe the "atrocities committed by police" on members of Patel community during their protest for reservation last week.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 01, 2015, 21:20 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Congress on Tuesday demanded setting up of an inquiry commission, comprising a sitting High Court judge, to probe the "atrocities committed by police" on members of Patel community during their protest for reservation last week.

The Opposition party also demanded resignation of Chief Minister Anandiben Patel for "mishandling" the situation.

"We demand today that the state government should set up an inquiry commission to find out the truth about who had given orders for police atrocities, due to which a peaceful agitation by Patel community for reservation turned violent," state unit Congress chief Bharat Solanki said.

"Till the rally on August 25, the agitation was peaceful, but on that night (on August 25) police stormed in the GMDC ground and detained their leader Hardik Patel and baton charged his supporters. Due to it, the situation turned violent," Solanki said.

"During the violence, police committed many atrocities on the people...People were killed in police firing, CCTV footages show that police vandalised private properties, they entered homes of people and have beaten them up," he alleged.

The Congress demanded that the panel should inquire into all aspects of police atrocities and "on whose orders the police were told to go and commit these atrocities".

Referring to the probe ordered by the CM into the incident of lathicharge on the protesters on last Tuesday, the Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela questioned how can police officers conduct an inquiry about their own deeds.

"So we have today demanded an inquiry commission by a sitting High Court judge. This event has exposed the Gujarat model. This is the reality of Gujarat as people have to come out in the streets to ask for their rights," Vaghela said.

Demanding Anandiben's resignation, another Congress leader Siddarth Patel alleged that her mishandling of the situation had resulted into death and violence.

In a press release, the Congress demanded compensation to the victims of violence, compensation to those injured in "police atrocities".

It also appealed to stop "harassment" of innocent people in the name of inquiry, demanded release of those arrested for violence and take action against all including Centre and state governments ministers who were responsible for police action.

A 32-year-old man, Swetang Patel, had allegedly died in police custody when he was caught during the quota protest, prompting the High Court to order a CID probe into the incident.