High Court directs Gujarat government to restore peace, tells Police not to cross the limits of law
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has directed the Gujarat Government, in particular, the state Chief Secretary and Home Secretary to abide by the declaration made before this Court and restore
peace and the law and order situation in the State.
Responding to a Writ Petition (PIL) NO. 174 of 2015 on Friday, 28, August, a two judge bench of Gujarat High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice JAYANT Patel and Justice N.V.Anjaria passed an orrder which says: “Considering the facts and circumstances, we find that restoration of peace in the State and resumption and return of normalcy in the life and affairs are of the prime concern and it should stand on priority of the State Officials, and people at large of the State should appreciate all actions on the part of State to restore the peace.”
On the grievance of the petitioner about the commission of police atrocities and more particularly pertaining to the police high-handedly and police pefrsonnel entering the houses of the residents and resorting to lathi charge; use of force inside a housing complex and breaking of glasses of the cars and causing damage to the private properties of the citizens; and the submission for Court direction for taking appropriate action against the police personnel and officials who had indulged in such activities, the Gujarat High Court order says that action can can wait for some time for response and report of the State government in this regard.
However the Court has emphasised that the State Government should convey to all police personnel and officials about the limits of their power. While restoring peace they shall not cross the limits of the law, attracting other further penal and deterrent consequences, the order says.
In this regards, the State Advocate General submitted that the State would look into the matter and what actions are taken against such police officials, shall be reported to this Court by the next hearing.
The Gujarat High Coourt has suggested to the Advocate General to get the instructions for formation of team of the high officials and for taking other requisite steps to restore peace and law and order situation in the State.
A day after the High Court order, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader Hardik Patel, who is leading a massive movement demanding reservation under the other backward community (OBC) quota for the Patidar community, on Saturday visited the house of Shwetang Patidar, who allegedly died of injuries inflicted by Police when violence broke out after Hardik’s rally here on 25 April.
Shwetang’s mother filed a petition in court on Thursday accusing the Police of beating her son to death.
Hardik asked Shwetang’s sister to tie him a Rakhi and said that the Gujarat Government will face the consequences. Shwetang’s last rites have been scheduled for Sunday since it was Rakshabandhan today.
The State Advocate General has tendered before the Gujarat High Court broad points for appropriate arrangements including formation of team of high ranking officers to restore law and order. The arrangements are as follows:
1. A team of High Ranking Officers consisting of
(i) Chief Secretary
(ii) Home Secretary
(iii) D.G. & I.G.P.
(iv) D.G.P. (Intelligence), and
(v) D.G.P. (Law and Order)
is holding meetings for three times a day for taking stock of the situation in the entire State and for issuing requisite instructions/orders for getting the needful done as per the requirement.
2. For quick dissemination of information, the following Control Rooms are fully functional:
(i) State Control Room, at the office of D.G.P. and I.G.P.
(ii) Control Room at the Home Department
(iii) Control Room at each of the offices of Commissioner of Police in the cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda and Rajkot.
(iv) Control Room at each of the offices of Superintendent of Police in all the Districts in the State.
3. Peace appeal to the people of Gujarat by CM being telecast on various media channels.
4. Review meeting held by Hon’ble CM around 2 PM on 26th August, 2015 to review the law and order situation in the State and decisions taken with respect to the following:
a) Shanti Samiti/Mohalla Samiti/Ekta Samiti Meetings to be held by all district collectors/Commissioners immediately.
b) Peace appeals by various religious saints and other prominent leaders to be telecast on various media channels.
5. At the District Level, District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police have been instructed to keep a close vigil for taking care of any emergent situation. They have also been instructed to conduct the meetings of Shanti Samity and Akta Committee, consisting of the representatives of the respective communities, so as to maintain peace.
6. Similarly, at Sub-Divisional Level, Sub-Divisional Magistrate (i.e. Prant Officer) and Deputy Superintendent of Police and at Taluka Level, Mamlatdar and Executive Magistrate and Police Station In-charge have been accordingly instructed.
7. Arrangements are being made for conveying peace messages through religious leaders and social leaders in TV and Radio.
8. Ten senior officers of the rank of SP and above including two ADGP rank officers were deputed at sensitive locations across the State post 25th August incident.
9. At present, there are 162 Armed Police Force Companies (i.e. 53 companies of CRPF and 109 companies of SRP) are deployed throughout the State towards maintenance of law and order.
10. Further, 11 companies of Army have been called in (i.e 5 companies in Ahmedabad and 2 companies each in Surat, Rajkot and Mehsana) for aiding civil
11. Prevailing situation is being continuously reviewed by the high ranking State Officials headed by the Chief Secretary.