Justice Manisena heads judicial probe into Assam violence

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) Justice (retd) R K Manisena Singh has been appointed to probe the November 24 violence in Guwahati in which two people were killed and 242 wounded during clashes following a procession by the All Adivasi Student Association of Assam.

Replying to a calling attention on the issue in the Lok Sabha today, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said Justice Singh would conduct the probe under the Commission of Inquiries Act.

The Minister did not accept members demand for a CBI probe, saying the central investigating agency was getting overburdened and its manpower was limited.

He said three persons were arrested in connection with the violence and a separate case registered against them on the charge of outraging the modesty of a tribal girl.

The Minister said the state government had decided to give Rs one lakh to the tribal girl. But it was reported that her father refused to accept it, saying the government should accept the demand of agitating tribals to give them Scheduled Caste status.

He said the district magistrate and senior superintendent of police of Guwahati had been transferred, adding that the officer-in-charge of Basistha police station was also shunted and a police sub-inspector suspended for negilence of duty.

The Home Minister said 242 people were wounded and 123 of them were still under going treatment in Guwahati Medical College Hospital.

But Rupchand Murmu, a tribal MP of CPI(M) from West Bengal, disputed government figures of casualties, claiming more than 300 wounded were admitted in two main hospitals of Guwahati when he visited them recently. Attributing the violence to failure of the state government, he alleged both the police and civil administration had failed to act.

Naraian Chandra Borkatakty, BJP member from Assam, held the state government responsible for inadequate security arrangements, asking weather if it was sufficient to deploy only one magistrate and 12 police men when the administration knew that the procession was going to pass through an area which was full of shops and other business establishments. He asked if the Centre would remain a mute spectator as sporadic violence was still going on in the state.


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