T.N. Raj Bhavan petrol bomb attack | Only a lone man attack, no attempt to barge in: DGP

Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) Shankar Jiwal (centre) and Commission of Police of Greater Chennai Sandeep Rai Rathore (right) and Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, A.Arun (left) brief journalists on the recent petrol bomb attack at Raj Bhavan, in Chennai on October 27, 2023
| Photo Credit: M. Prabhu

Top police officers of Tamil Nadu including Director General of Police Shankar Jiwal on Friday, October 27, 2023 refuted the Raj Bhavan’s claims that “miscreants carrying bombs” had tried to “barge in through the main gate” of Governor R.N. Ravi’s office-cum-residence on Wednesday. The officers also released CCTV footage to substantiate the police’s stand that only a lone man, identified as ‘Karukka’ Vinod, had hurled Molotov cocktail (petrol bomb) at the main entrance of the Raj Bhavan on Sardar Patel Road in Chennai.

The officers also released CCTV footage of an incident in April 2022, to establish that Governor Ravi was not “physically attacked with sticks and stones” while he was on his way to attend a scheduled function at the Dharmapuram Adheenam, as alleged by T. Sengottaiyan, the Deputy Secretary to the Governor, in a police complaint dated October 25, 2023.

At a joint media conference addressed by Mr. Jiwal, Greater Chennai City Police Commissioner Sandeep Rai Rathore and Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, A.Arun, the DGP contended there was no lapse in security provided to the Governor.

The DGP said 253 police personnel are on bandobust duty at Raj Bhavan. Besides, a dog squad, baggage scanner and security equipment are provided. Central Reserve Police Force personnel are guarding the inner cordon and always 100 personnel from local police are on duty in the outer cordon.

“We never scale down the security arrangement. Wherever the Governor goes, advance security liasoning is done first,” he said.

Countering the Raj Bhavan’s claim on the petrol bomb hurling incident, Mr. Rathore played CCTV footage taken at multiple locations on the fateful day. He said the accused Vinodh, walked all the way from Teynampet Junction towards Raj Bhavan.

“He was outside Raj Bhavan and had not attempted to enter. Vinod was standing on Sardar Patel Road when he attempted to throw a bottle filled with petrol. As such that was not thrown inside the Raj Bhavan. The accused did not escape and he was not caught by the staff of Raj Bhavan but by the quick act of five personnel of Greater Chennai City Police and taken to Guindy Police station. This is the sequence of the occurrence,” the Commissioner said.

As for the Dharmapuram incident, Mr. Arun said, “Only one flag was thrown on a private vehicle that passed after the convoy of the Governor. The claim that the Governor was physically attacked is wrong.” Denying Raj Bhavan’s claim that no FIR was registered, he said 73 persons were arrested based on a complaint from the Village Administrative Officer in connection with the protest during the Governor’s visit. So far 53 witnesses have been examined and a charge sheet soon would be filed,” he said.

Referring to Raj Bhavan’s allegation that police did not register Mr Sengottaiyan’s complaint on the petrol bomb attack, Mr. Jiwal pointed out that as per CrPC, a FIR is registered based on the complaint which is given first. “In this case, the first information was given by police personnel on duty and the accused had to be remanded within 24 hours as per law,” he said. “The complaint from Raj Bhavan came at 9.30 pm,” he added.

Insisting there won’t be any sluggishness in investigation, he said there will be a continuous probe and definitive steps will be taken as required.

Mr. Rathore said he was not given appointment to present all these facts to the Governor when he visited Raj Bhavan on Thursday to inspect bandobust arrangements for the President’s visit. “I intended to show these photos and videos and other evidence to the Governor. But I was not able to meet him since he had other appointments,” the Commissioner said.

“Maintenance of law and order and public tranquility is always our topmost priority,” said Mr. Jiwal.

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