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Gujjar Violence
SC seeks report from police chiefs
S. S. Negi/Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, June 5
The Supreme Court today took suo motu cognisance of the large-scale violence and destruction of public and private property during the Gujjars’ agitation describing it a “national shame” and sought reports from the police chiefs of four affected states on the action taken against the culprits.

Giving 10 days’ time to the DGPs of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and the police commissioner of New Delhi to submit their affidavits explaining “as to what actions have been taken or are proposed to be taken against the offenders,” a Bench of justices Arijit Pasayat and D. K. Jain fixed further hearing of the matter for June 18.

While ordering registration of a case under the title “destruction of public and private properties” the court said “it is a national shame that hoards of people are indulging in destruction of properties but no action is taken against them.”

Making the apex court’s earlier order on banning frequent bandhs in Kerala as the basis for taking the suo motu notice of the violent agitation by Gujjars demanding Scheduled Tribe status, the Bench said prima facie it appeared that no preventive action had been taken by the authorities concerned against the offenders to stop violence.

“As the electronic media shows, the offenders feel that they have done some heroic or laudable thing because they show their beaming faces when the TV camera is focused on them,” the court in its brief order recorded.

Appointing senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan as amicus curiae to assist the court in the adjudication of the case, the bench asked him to obtain the video footages from different TV channels on the coverage of the agitation.

The TV footages would also be used for passing appropriate orders in this regard, the court said.

The bench expressed concern over the police virtually taking no effective action against those indulging in violence and said that even happened in the Capital yesterday.

“Yesterday the life in New Delhi was paralysed. Nobody could reach the office or the workplace in time. Even doctors could not reach the hospitals, affecting emergency services,” the bench observed, pointing out that the apex court in the Kerala strike case had directed recovery of damages from those who indulged in mindless destruction of public and private property.

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