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Behera ‘no’ to action against cops in July 23 lathicharge

Suhas did not recommend any action against the police, but said the police action against CPI leaders was ‘misguided’.

Published: 18th August 2019 05:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2019 05:31 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Police chief Loknath Behera

Kerala Police chief Loknath Behera (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: State Police Chief Loknath Behera has recommended that no departmental action needed to be taken against the police personnel involved in the lathicharge on CPI MLA Eldho Abraham and party leaders during a protest march in Kochi on July 23. 

In his report submitted to the state government, Behera justified the alleged ‘police high-handedness’ as normal action by the cops. He also said there were ‘no lapses’ by the cops in the incident. 
“The policemen did not do anything intentional against the MLA. It was a normal action of the cops when a protest march turned violent,” Behera said in the report. He said the report by District Collector S Suhas on the incident also did not mention any lapses on the cops’ part.  

Besides Eldho, CPI Ernakulam district secretary P Raju was also injured in the lathicharge. The CPI state committee had demanded strong action against the policemen involved. The party had also sought departmental action against ACP K Lalji and Kochi Central SI Vipin Das.

The incident took place when the CPI Ernakulam district committee took out a march towards Kochi range IG office demanding action against Njarakkal CI M K Murali in connection with a clash between AISF and SFI activists at Government Arts and Science College, Vypeen. The march turned violent after several leaders and workers, including Eldho, sustained severe injuries in the police lathicharge. Three police officers, including Ernakulam ACP K Lalji, were also injured. 

Eldho, who fractured his left hand, was hospitalised as were CPI leaders K N Sugathan and T C Sanjith. Later, the police came under fire for taking action against leaders of the ruling front. Eldho even alleged there was no system in place to control the police. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed District Collector S Suhas to probe the incident. Suhas did not recommend any action against the police, but said the police action against CPI leaders was ‘misguided’.

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