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Judicial probe into Chennai college violence

November 13, 2008 15:11 IST

An embarrassed Tamil Nadu government on Thursday ordered a judicial probe by a retired High Court judge into the clash between two groups of students of Dr Ambedkar Law college in Chennai and placed under suspension the college principal and an Assistant Commissioner of Police for dereliction of duty.

After the issue rocked the assembly on Thursday, resulting in the eviction of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members who demanded the resignation of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, owning moral responsibility for the gruesome incident, Minister for Public Works and Law Duraimurugan announced that the state government has ordered the probe to go into the violence.

He said, retired High court judge Justice Shanmugam will probe the incident and submit a report to the government. The probe would cover the alleged laxity on the part of the police and the college principal in preventing the clash and violence.

A posse of police personnel stood in silence as two groups of students clashed right in front of their eyes. Two students were almost beaten to death. The college principal also chose to remain inside his chamber, when there was a free for all in the campus.

Duraimurugan said the chief minister was extremely upset over the incident and had spent the whole of Wednesday night discussing the issue with his ministerial colleagues and officials. As he became unwell, he could not come to the House, he said.

Stating that four students were injured in the incident and they were being given the best medical treatment, Duraimurugan said seven students were arrested in this connection and remanded to judicial custody.

They would be proceeded against under stringent provisions of law, including section 307 of IPC (attempt to murder), he added.

Duraimurugan said as the police came under severe criticism for failing to come to the rescue of the victims despite being present at the scene, the state government had placed Assistant Commissioner of Police Narayanamurthy and Inspector Sekar Babu attached to the Esplanade Police station under suspension for alleged dereliction of duty.

The government also 'shunted out of the city' four inspectors in north Chennai region, where the government law college was located, he said.

College Principal Durai was also placed under suspension for failing to act 'with presence of mind' and prevent the group clash, he said.

All law colleges and hostels in the state will remain closed until further orders, he said and announced postponement of the semester examinations.

The exams would be held after conducive atmosphere returned, he added.

Duraimurugan also said that on the orders of the chief minister, all senior doctors were summoned to the Government General Hospital on Wednesday night to provide the best medical treatment to the injured students.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in various law colleges in the state as students staged protest demonstrations, condemning the police inaction.

An irate mob also set ablaze a state transport corporation bus early Thursday morning at Viyasarpadi in north Chennai, protesting against the attack on students. The bus was carrying crew members for morning duty when the mob set it on fire. No one was injured in the incident and police arrested seven people in this connection.

Leaders of various political parties, including AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa criticised the police for turning a blind eye when the clash took place right in front of them. They demanded stern action against the police.


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