Tamil Nadu opposition says ‘fake police shootouts’ on rise

April 28th, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 28 (IANS) Following a shoot out in Tiruchirappalli district of Tamil Nadu Monday that left a wanted criminal dead, opposition parties have demanded appointment of an independent ombudsman to probe instances of police shoot outs. Speaking to reporters here, PMK founder leader S. Ramadoss alleged that 15 people have been shot dead during the past two years and there were 68 victims of police’s “illegal vigilantism” in the past decade.

“Even if one believes the police stories that dangerous criminals and Maoists are endangering public lives, one cannot accept that the law and order machinery summarily executes the wrongdoers through an act of ‘illegal vigilantism’ in direct contravention of the rules laid down by the National Human Rights Commission and our legal tenets,” Ramadoss said.

“The accused should be apprehended and prosecuted in courts, whereby the nexus between criminals and politicians should be exposed. Further, an independent permanent legal authority should be appointed to probe into such questionable deaths,” Ramadoss added.

Police sources claimed to have shot dead “a notorious criminal”, Balaji, in a shoot out in the early hours of Monday - the second such killing during the past week.

The criminal was wanted in a dozen murder and extortion cases in Tiruchi and Perambalur districts, 300 km southwest of here.

Police sources, speaking on phone from Tiruchi, said an officer V. Kabilan was wounded when Balaji opened fire. The accused was killed when police returned the fire.

The main opposition led by the AIADMK had alleged that the two shoot outs, of Balaji and an alleged Maoist Navin April 19, were “false”.

Civil liberties organisations claimed, through a hazy video released to select television channels in Dindigul Saturday, that an accomplice of Navin was being held in illegal custody, a charge denied by police top brass.

An illegal factory manufacturing country-made revolvers was also discovered April 19 in Perambalur district (260 km south west of here) and one person was arrested.

The AIADMK-led opposition has also assailed the ruling DMK of converting the state into a “haven of desperadoes” and claimed the registration of 87 cases against alleged supporters of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the past 22 months as a “proof” of its charge.

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