Human Rights Commission pulls up MP government

The state Human Rights Commission (HRC) has sought a detailed report from the Madhya Pradesh government about the police lathi-charge on protestors who participated in a rail-roko organised by NGOs to mark the 27th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

Taking suo motto cognisance of the police caning, the commission pulled up the state government for the alleged police violence on the protesters, who were demanding adequate compensation for the gas tragedy.

The state HRC had also, earlier, sought an explanation from the district collector and senior superintendent of police on the caning of the protesters. ''The gas victims were cane charged and the police fired in the air,'' the state HRC wrote to the government. ''A large number of people and police personnel were injured, train traffic was also disrupted creating inconvenience to the people. It has become necessary to know the facts and seek explanation from the police and the district administration.''

The commission also wanted to know whether a magisterial inquiry had been ordered into the incident.

Violence broke out on 3 December as many of the protesters began pelting stones on the police and blocked trains. Cases have been registered against 2,000 persons and nearly a score have been arrested for the violence.

The police are also initiating action against some of the leaders of the NGOs who had called for the rail-roko and had allegedly instigated the mob.

Some of the survivors of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy organised a rail-roko demanding higher compensation and a review of the list of the victims of the disaster. They called off the agitation on Saturday after chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan assured them that he would take up the case with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.