Judicial probe ordered in Karnataka police firing

June 16th, 2008 - 12:25 am ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 15 (IANS) Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Sunday ordered a judicial probe into police firing on agitating farmers at Haveri June 10, in which a farmer was killed and four were injured. “The judicial inquiry will be headed by retired Karnataka High Court judge K.C. Jagannatha Shetty. The commission has been asked to submit its findings on the tragic incident in four months,” Yeddyurappa told reporters here.

The judicial probe comes in the wake of the strident demand by the opposition parties for such an inquiry.

Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda Saturday threatened to launch a statewide agitation if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government did not order a judicial probe into the police firing on farmers, who were protesting against non-supply of fertilisers and seeds.

The chief minister, however, said the state government was conducting judicial inquiry not under pressure or threat of agitation by JD-S, but only to ensure the opposition did not use the incident as an alibi to create law and order problem by vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

“My government is truly a pro-farmer. I have taken oath of office in the name of farmers. I consider it as my bounden duty to render justice to the farming community. I will not allow any injustice to be meted out to them,” he said.

Thousands of farmers in southern and coastal districts of the state launched protests against the delay in supplying fertilisers, as early onset of the southwest monsoon in the state compelled them to go for sowing in their fields.

Shortage of fertiliser stocks and delay in supplies from manufacturing plants through the central government led to panic buying and scramble for more quantities by farmers.

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