People's Tribunal 'prevented' from holding press meet

People's Tribunal 'prevented' from holding press meet

The 'Janata Adalat’, led by Supreme Court retired Judge Justice V Gopala Gowda, was reportedly prevented by the police from convening a press conference in order to appraise the media on the three-member committee’s observations on police firing in the Mangaluru.

The Listening Post of Indian Social Institute (ISS)-Bengaluru, Association for the Protection of Civil Rights and Samvidananada Hadiyalli had jointly organised the Janata Adalat (People’s Tribunal) to unearth the facts related to violence in Mangaluru on December 19.

A press release from Adalat’s V Gopala Gowda, former state public prosecutor B T Venkatesh and journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju stated, ‘’Under the pressure of police, it had become impossible for the People’s Tribunal to organise a press conference. Hoteliers were willing to provide the venue for press meet on the condition that organisers should obtain permission from the police, which is not required as per the law. “The public has a right to know issues concerning violence against civilians as the police are accountable to the people with regard to the events of December 19. With fair mind we will go into the testimonies of the witnesses that we have collected and prepare a final report that will stand the test of credibility in the eyes of all the concerned with regard to the incident of December 19.”

When a Supreme Court retired judge is prevented from convening a press meet, then what might be the condition of common-man?, Sugata asked.

“We are only a fact finding committee and have come to collect facts. We are not pre-judging the situation in Mangaluru,’’ he told media, outside a private hotel.

Venkatesh said a preliminary report would be released shortly and the Adalat’s final report would be released within a fortnight.

“We have spoken to the injured victims at the hospital and sought forensic and ballistic reports,” he added.

He said the invitation to depose before the Adalat and share their experiences was also extended to officials and in particular to the police.

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