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tuticorin police firingPeople’s Watch is deeply concerned that the former IG South Range Madurai Mr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav IPS and the then DIG Tirunelveli, Mr. Kapil Kumar Saratkar IPS who were senior officers responsible for Thoothukudi district on 22nd May 2018 when the Sterlite killings took place, resulting ultimately in the death of 17 persons have both now applied for deputation outside Tamil Nadu in central police services.

In the context of what happened on 22nd May 2018, the fact:

  • that the Justice Aruna Jegadeesan commission of enquiry has hardly completed 50 percent of the task of only examining witnesses;
  • that the CBI which was entrusted the criminal investigation of all the offences and to find out those responsible for the violence of 22nd May 2018 by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court in August 2018, has been remaining silent till date after more than two and a half years;
  • that the National Human Rights Commission which had suo moto undertaken this case for investigation and deputed its investigation division having now closed the case;

it is the responsibility of the Government of Tamil Nadu to categorically assure the people of Tamil Nadu that any senior officers such as Mr. Shailesh Kumar Yadav IPS and Mr. Kapil Kumar Saratkar IPS and anybody else in the police or in the administration who served in Thoothukudi in person or in supervisory capacity are not recommended to be deputed to the Govt. of India till the CBI investigation in this case is completed. Such a deputation, if true, will amount to allowing them to escape from the immediate clutches of law.

People’s Watch deems it unfortunate for all political parties to be entering into election mode at a time when those responsible for the killings/deaths of 17 persons and injuries to over 200 persons have not yet been identified inspite of a Commission of Enquiry,  CBI investigation and an NHRC enquiry into the incident. This indicates the height of impunity that prevails in the state where people will soon be asked to vote without the courts, without the NHRC, without the Judicial Commission of Enquiry and without the CBI revealing who are responsible for the deaths. Deputations of senior officers to the central cadre should be resisted by all political parties and should be lead by the leader of the Opposition Mr. M.K. Stalin in order that such officers are made vulnerable to the violations of human rights that took place during their tenure and allegedly due to their administrative negligence.

- Henri Tiphagne

Executive Director, People’s Watch

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