Bloody Clash at IIT Mandi: Police accused of sheltering accused

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mandi
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2015 23:21 IST

Even as the police have set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe into the IIT Mandi clash on June 20, various labour unions, political parties and prominent social activists of the town have said the police role in the IIT Mandi clash was doubtful and they did not trust their SIT.

The leaders of Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh (BMS), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Communist Party of India (CPI), CPI (Marxist), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Kisan Sabha, Naujawan Sabha and Janwadi Mahila Samiti in unequivocal voice alleged that the police were sheltering the accused and civil contractor who had hired "bullies" from Punjab to suppress the labourers' agitation with muscle and ammunition power.

"We don't understand what the police need to establish. It is simple; bouncers opened fire on unarmed labourers while they were agitating peacefully and injured four people at the spot. Why did the police instead of the arresting the accused allow them to leave the state in the name of treatment?" questioned Deshraj Sharma, a CPI leader.

They also raised fingers against the Mandi zonal hospital authorities and demanded an explanation on why the five injured security guards were referred to PGIMER in Chandigarh instead of IGMC in Shimla or RPGMC in Tanda.

The leaders also demanded that the Himachal Pradesh high court intervene to protect the civil and democratic rights of labourers and implement labour laws in the state.

Meanwhile, Mandi deputy commissioner Sandeep Kadam has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and ordered to submit a report within 15 days.

Security guards not absconding, only moved to pvt hospitals: SP

Mandi superintendent of police (SP) Mohit Chawla on Tuesday said they could not arrest the security guards from Punjab until they were declared accused and investigation was over.

He said the accused were not absconding and had in fact shifted to private hospitals for treatment as per their relatives' request that the police could not decline, adding that they were not under police custody in Chandigarh and were only being provided protection.

The SP said the police had formed an SIT under the command of additional SP Kuldeep Rana, and the police staff at Kamand police post had been placed under suspension for now, adding that they had invited the civil contractor to cooperate and participate in the ongoing inquiry.

EPF issue was already settled , IIT Kamand authorities

IIT Mandi registrar Mohammad Shakeel said the construction work of the north campus was entrusted to the central public works department (CPWD) under the deposit work scheme, and the department had further allotted the work to Supreme Infrastructure Ltd, Gurgaon.

The CPWD had a permanent camp office on the site to check and supervise the day to day construction work and the IIT reviewed progress periodically, he added.

Shakeel said a representation dated May 27 was received by IIT Mandi from HP Bhawan Awam Sadak Nirman Mazdoor Union stating non-payment of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), following which an agreement was reached on June 17 after negotiation between the workers' union and the contractor.

Also, on receiving a call from the Mandi deputy commissioner on June 19, IIT authorities called an urgent meeting which was attended by the CPWD and Supreme Infrastructure representatives and the latter assured to pay the pending wages for May to workers by June 20 and settle the EPF issue by June 23, the registrar added.

He said he had apprised the Mandi DC about the outcome of the meeting immediately and it had appeared that the workers' issues had been resolved, but on June 20 it was reported that some workers gathered at the construction site in the morning that was followed by the unfortunate incident.

Stating that IIT and its community was extremely saddened by the incident, Shakeel added that institute did not have any presence on the construction site and they were unaware how firearms entered the site.

CPM fact finding team to visit IIT Mandi today

A fact finding team of CPI (M) will visit the IIT campus at Kamand on Tuesday. The team comprises Shimla mayor Sanjay Chauhan, Tikender Singh Panwar, Kuldeep Singh Tanwar, Prem Gautam, Bhupender Singh, advocate Sanjeev Bhushan and Mohar Singh Chauhan.

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