Paramakudi: Police may have come in for
flak from political parties for the death of seven persons in
firing here on Sunday but questions are being raised about the
lack of proper safety gear including even helmets resulting
in a number of personnel being injured in the violence.
Several local policemen were seen trying to contain the
rampaging crowds with mere lathis and sporting caps, exposing
themselves as easy targets.
Sixteen police personnel, including DIG Sandeep Mittal,
Superintendent of Police Senthil Velan and DSP Ganesan,
suffered injuries of different degree in the violence.
Seven persons were killed when police fired on rampaging
crowds--mostly Dalits--which set ablaze vehicles and blocked
traffic following the arrest of Dalit leader John Pandian at
Vallanadu in Tuticorin district.
DSP Ganesan neither had helmet nor a proper jacket and was
pushed down and hit with stones on the stomach, retired
police officials said pointing out that he could have dealt
with the situation better with proper gear.
"The mobs are totally different now... They use very big
stones and iron rods and different types of missiles. The main
reason for police getting injured is that they do not have
proper protection," retired DSP Subramanian said.
Police should have used the riot control force with full
protection to control such serious mob violence. The force
should have been kept on standby, said Balakrishnan, another
Even most of the vehicles in which police were taken to the
spot did not have proper protection. The Vajra van taken to
control the crowd did not have water to be used in the cannon
to disperse the mob. "What for they are having it. It was a
disgrace that the police allowed even the Vajra van to be
torched," Perumal, a former Inspector said.
"If the government is serious about maintaining law and
order, it should provide better facilities for the armed
police. It is not enough if the riot police alone had all the
facilities. When you use local police in riot control, they
should have adequate facilities," said Maruthiah, retired DSP,
who spent most of his career in Armed Police battallion.
The situation could have been brought under control
earlier if they had adequate shields. The hand shield was not
enough for such a situation, as stones were being thrown from
different directions, he said.
The government should make more investments on protective
gear to policemen. Though the Police Commission had made
recommendations for all this, nothing had been done so far,the