Common man suffered most in Mangluru stir: Panel

Bengaluru (IANS) A fact-finding commission investigating police firings in Mangalore in the recent anti-CAA unrest found that greater harm was caused to civilians and innocent people not connected to the protests.

"Greater harm was caused to civilians and innocent persons who had nothing to do with the protests, if any. Their livelihood has been severely affected. More specifically, two lives have been lost," said the commission report.

The commission comprised retired Supreme Court judge V.A Gopala Gowda, B.T. Venkatesh and Sugata Srinivasaraju which said the police resorted to indiscriminate lathicharge and firing, abusive language, force on journalists and other gross violations.

Examining the events that occurred during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in Mangluru on December 19, 2019 and January 6 and 7, the commission found that the imposition of Section 144 CrPc, which prohibits the assembly of more than four people, was unwarranted.

"While the Commissioner of Police of Mangluru, P.S. Harsha, imposed prohibitory orders on the evening of December 18, 2019, the order was not effectively communicated to the residents of the area," said the commission.

Permissions granted earlier to the imposition of the Section 144 were revoked but not properly communicated.

In the resultant breakdown of communication, the commission said civilians not connected to the protests were subjected to indiscriminate lathicharge and police firing.

"The testimonies of the victims presented before the tribunal display a complete abdication of responsibility by police personnel present at the site of the violence," said the report.

The fact-finding commission was from the Listening Post, an initiative from the combination of Indian Social Institute-Bengaluru, Association for Protection of Civil Rights Karnataka and Samvidhanadha Haadiyalli.
 

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