Fact-finding team flays police action on anti-nuke protestors

An independent fact finding team asked the NHRC and the SC to take a serious note of alleged police atrocities on protesters.

Chennai: A three-member independent fact finding team Wednesday asked the National Human Rights Commission and the Supreme Court to take a serious note of alleged police atrocities on anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protesters during the September 10 crackdown on them.

Condemning the "reign of terror" after September 10, the team led by retired Bombay High Court Judge Justice B G Kolse Patil said the police action had created a "fear psychosis" in the area and people feel as if they were under siege.

"We believe that our findings raise a matter of great gravity given that they endorse widespread reports about violence against women, children and the elderly by police. The actions of the police also include acts of looting and damage to public and private property and open intimidation," the team said in its report.

The report released here said IPC sections like 124A (sedition) and 121A (waging war) had been "irrationally" used to charge those arrested on September 10 when police used canes and burst teargas shells to quell protesters when they attempted to lay siege to the nuclear plant.

"We believe the use of force against peaceful protestors was extreme and totally unjustified... We urge the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, State/National Commissions for Women, and the National/State Human Rights Commissions and Supreme Court to take serious note of these violations and act to restore normalcy and a sense of justice," it said.
The team also comprising senior journalist Kalpana Sharma and Tamil writer R N Joe D`Cruz had last week visited Kudankulam, Idinthakarai, the epicentre of the over year long protests against the plant over safety concerns, and other nearby hamlets.


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