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INDIA: Commissioner of Police condemned for use of unlawful force in private campus

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peoples_watch_logo.jpgFORUM-ASIA member in India, People's Watch has condemned the Commissioner of Police for the use of unlawful force in a private educational campus without any intimation whatsoever to a personnel responsible for the campus at that point of time.

People's Watch reminds the Commissioner of Police the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcing Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the use of Fire Arms by Law Enforcement Officials both of which categorically state that force is to be used only when it is strictly necessary; only for lawful law enforcement purposes; that restraint is to be exercised while using force and non violent means are to be attempted first.

People's Watch further holds the Commissioner of Police responsible under the 'Principles of command and superior responsibility' and for forcibly evicting an educational campus and bringing an educational institution that peacefully conducted its examinations, that peacefully published its results, that peacefully admitted students this academic year, that continued its peaceful function in all ways – ultimately to be brought to complete halt. It is high time that the citizens of Madurai record their protest to such a nexus between people possessing arms, using force and entering a private campus and this raises a question whether there is any political backing to such a police action.

The irony is that everyone saw the presence of the police in the front gates of the campus and they all knew of the police having knowledge that the gate of the campus opening to the Medical College campus at the back was also being used by a number of unruly elements from the city of Madurai to enter this campus and place the students and staff on campus in strict fear of the violence that were capable to unleashing.

The Government of Tamil Nadu should take complete responsibility for all the costs of medical treatment to the injured students; order a high level enquiry by a retired High Court Judge into the illegal lathi charge ordered with the full knowledge of the Commissioner of Police in the college campus; immediately call of the indefinite closure of the college and re-open the campus and restore it to the normalcy as existed on 30th August, 2008 without any one as the Principal of the College.

People's Watch fervently appeals to the Chief Justice of Tamil Nadu to ensure that the orders of the Hon'ble High Court do not at any point of time lead to such violent situations at an educational campus of national repute disrupting an educational institution, its student and staff and that all these events be taken cognizance of suo moto by the Chief Justice of Tamil Nadu.

People's Watch calls upon the Chairperson of the Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission to suo motu intervene in this matter, (that was already well reported in the various sections of the print and electronic media) conduct an enquiry and ensure that justice is restored, for all the illegalities committed by the Commissioner of Police of Madurai. People's Watch calls upon the Chairpersons of the State Women's Commission as well as the State Commission for Minorities to also intervene in this mater without any delay whatsoever since women students and staff have been robbed of their dignity and respect by the 'khaki' under the control of the Commissioner of Police.

For more information on this issue, read People's Watch website.