Give qualification-based jobs to victims of 2018 Thoothukudi firing: Interim report

Retired judge of Madras High Court, Aruna Jagadeesan, who is heading the Commission of Inquiry, submitted her interim report to Chief Minister M K Stalin at the Secretariat.

Published: 15th May 2021 07:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2021 07:18 AM   |  A+A-

The Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi

The Sterlite copper plant in Thoothukudi (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

THOOTHUKUDI/CHENNAI: The interim report into the firing during anti-Sterlite protest, submitted by the one man commission chairperson Aruna Jegadeesan, consists of investigation details about protesters, general public, injured victims, kin of the deceased, party leaders, advocates, journalists who witnessed the police firing incident on May 22 and 23. 

Retired judge of Madras High Court, Aruna Jagadeesan, who is heading the Commission of Inquiry, submitted her interim report to Chief Minister MK Stalin at the Secretariat. She also donated Rs 50,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund of the Chief Minister.

The commission was constituted by the previous AIADMK government to probe the police firing in which 13 people were killed. The commission conducted 27 phases of investigation and quizzed 719 witnesses out of 1052 persons summoned for the inquiry. 

Those appeared for the inquiry include the 71 persons charge sheeted by the CBI as well. The commission had marked over 1126 documents, videos, CCTV footage related to the incident that left the coastal town unrest for days in May, 2018.

The inquiry was suspended for nearly six months due to COVID19 in 2020, and the inquiry scheduled for May this year, had also been cancelled.

Sources privy to the investigation said that the interim reports have suggested the State government to provide education-based jobs for the eligible candidates, for whom the past government gave low profile jobs including assistants for VAOs, cooks and attenders at anganwadi centres. 

Of the 19 beneficiaries who got jobs, seven are graduates with one holding B.E degree, six completing Higher Secondary schools, one diploma holder. "The commission also sought to withdraw the cases against the public as many have lost jobs because of being named in the FIRs, and many could not move abroad for jobs without the No Objection Certificates (NOC) from the police department to get passports and visas,"  sources said.

Also, the commission has recommended Rs 20 lakh compensation and government employment for the bereaved family of F Justin (29) who died without responding to treatment five months after the incident on October 15, 2018.

The retired justice Aruna Jegadeesan is yet to question the senior revenue officials including the then collector N Venkatesh, then three deputy tasildars who ordered firing, then SP Mahendran and the policemen suspected to have opened fire at the crowd.


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