Police ‘diluting’ attack to vandalism: TN Raj Bhavan
The Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan accuses the police of not properly investigating a petrol bomb attack near the building, calling it mere vandalism.
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan on Thursday accused the police of not registering its complaint in connection with the petrol bomb attack near the building and “diluting” it as mere vandalism, amid an ongoing conflict between the office of the Governor and the ruling DMK.
The remark comes a day after a Molotov cocktail, colloquially called the petrol bomb, was hurled in front of the main gate of the Raj Bhavan, which is the official residence of Governor RN Ravi. There was no damage or injuries to anyone in the incident and the accused was immediately arrested, but the Opposition parties have termed it a reflection of the “deteriorating” law and order situation in the state.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Raj Bhavan said: “Police did not register Raj Bhavan’s complaint on the attack. Suo Motu diluted the attack as an act of simple vandalism and in a hurry got arrested accused remanded to jail at midnight waking up the magistrate and prevented detailed interrogation which could expose those behind the attack.”
“A fair investigation is killed before it begins,” it added.
An officer familiar the case, however, said that the Guindy police registered an FIR on attack soon after the incident took place, and booked the accused under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and the Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act. He has been remanded to 15 days of judicial custody, he added. HT has seen a copy of the FIR.
“A fair and complete investigation will be conducted regarding yesterday’s incident. All footage from CCTV is retrieved and a full investigation will be done. Tamil Nadu police give continuous security to the Governor’s office Raj Bhavan,” Tamil Nadu director general of police (DGP) Shankar Jiwal said.
The accused, identified as 40-year-old Karukka Vinod, faces at least 14 criminal cases and is currently out on bail.
A senior police officer said that the accused is a habitual offender who has earlier thrown petrol bombs at the state BJP’s party office and a police station.
Hours before the Raj Bhavan issued a statement on Thursday, Tamil Nadu law minister S Regupathy held a press conference where he said that the incident is condemnable and the government would never allow such untoward incidents to happen in Tamil Nadu as it would bring disrepute only to the government.
Responding to the Raj Bhavan’s allegation on Wednesday that the attack was a consequence of the DMK “verbally abusing and issuing veiled threats to Governor”, the law minister said: “Why would we do something that brings the state a bad name?... Even if the person is an enemy of chief minister and DMK president M K Stalin, the state would do its duty to protect the office of the Governor.”
He added that the accused “seemed to be mentally unstable” and could have been used to stage the crime to tarnish the state government’s image.
“This is a stray incident. The accused has been arrested and is being investigated. He will face the criminal justice system... This doesn’t mean that the law and order situation is bad. It is the Governor who starts the problems. He is going around the state like a campaign against us. We have only responded to the Governor’s allegations. We never spread hatred against him. It’s the Governor who spreads hatred across Tamil Nadu.”
Meanwhile, the Opposition continued its attack against the DMK-led state government over the incident and demanded a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Slamming the state government, Union Minister of State, L Murugan and BJP MLA and party’s Mahila Morcha chief, Vanathi Srinivasan demanded a probe by the NIA.Srinivasan said the case should be handed over to the NIA or CBI since the Tamil Nadu police acted as per diktats of persons belonging to the ruling DMK.
Governor Ravi and the ruling DMK have been at loggerheads over multiple issues from the former not giving his assent to bills passed by the cabinet to criticising the state and its rule by Dravidian parties for the past 50 years. The DMK government has, however, alleged that he was as working as an “agent” of the BJP and its ideological parent, the RSS.
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