March 13th, 2012
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Pongala case:Top cop suspended for filing case against devotees

pongala caseThiruvananthapuram: The government has placed Deputy Police Commissioner of Police Mr Mohanan under suspension even as an inquiry has been initiated against him. The Fort and Thampanoor police registered suo motu cases against 10,000 women on charge of blocking roads and restricting the free movement of traffic during the Attukal pongala on March 7, 2011.

Official sources claim that the case was registered as per the instructions of the Mr Mohanan. The case was registered on the basis of a Kerala High Court order, banning public roadside meetings. The FIR in this case stated that the women had created traffic hurdles by placing earthen pots on the roadside.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Monday has directed police to withdraw the case against the women devotees. Mr Oommen Chandy said government had clearly stated that Pongala would not come under the purview of a public meeting and that the court order would not apply to it. “I made this clear to a question in the Assembly on March 5,” The CM said. Besides, the court had also permitted Pongala while dealing with an affidavit by the state, seeking a direction not to ban it, he said, adding that police had overlooked both these factors while filing the case.

CPIM Polit Bureau member and former Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan meanwhile criticized the Oommen Chandy government for registering cases against the devotees who offered Pongala. At a press conference held at Thiruvananthapuram Mr. Balakrishnan stated that this could not have happened without the ‘silent permission’ of the Chief Minister and the State Police Chief.


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