Kerala orders compensation, judicial probe into police firing

May 18th, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 18 (IANS) The Kerala government Monday announced a compensation of Rs.1 million (Rs.10 lakh) to the kin of each of the five people killed in police firing after clashes broke out Saturday between groups of two communities. The government has also ordered a judicial probe into the incident.
State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said: “A judicial probe by a sitting judge would look into the entire sequence of events.”

He also announced payment of Rs.1 million to the kin of each of those killed and Rs.100,000 for each injured.

“Only after the post mortem would we know if all the five, who died, succumbed to bullet injuries,” said Balakrishnan, who air dashed home from New Delhi after hearing about the incident.

The violence started when two brothers clashed with traders at Beemapally Saturday evening. Angered by the retaliation of the traders, the duo later returned with nearly two dozen of their friends and torched boats and fishing nets and damaged shops in the area.

Meanwhile, Sunday morning pro-Muslim organizations took out a march to the state secretariat here demanding Balakrishnan’s resignation.

The organizations have also called for a 12-hour shut down in the district Tuesday. All university examinations scheduled for Tuesday have been postponed.

The newly elected MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor, visited the area and met the grieving families.

“They (families) have clearly indicated that this should not be seen as communal violence. The need of the hour is that peace should return to the area at the earliest and it should be dealt with maturity and calmness,” said Tharoor.

A company of the Central Reserve Police Force has been deployed and a strong police force has been posted to see that no more incidents take place, an official said.

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