Four years after the Dhule riots, parents of the six men who were killed in police firing have demanded that the Judicial Commission report on the riot be made public. “The report was submitted to the state government in October last year. It has been over four years since our children were shot dead when they were trying to flee the violence. The government should come out with the report to let people know the truth of what happened that day,” Raees Patel, whose 17-year-old son Saud Patel was killed in police firing, said.
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The parents of the six met local authorities, including the district collector, to submit their request. The state, meanwhile, has said it is evaluating the contents of the report and would make the findings public at an appropriate time.
Violence broke out in Dhule on January 6, 2013 over payment of a hotel bill. The fight turned into a major riot and six persons were killed when the police opened fire on the mob. The post-mortem reports of four of the six stated that they had been shot in the back. One was shot in the neck.
The state had taken connizance of ‘police high-handedness’ and suspended two policemen soon after the riots. Six police personnel were arrested after video footage emerged in which they were purportedly seen rioting as well as looting.
In March 2013, the state appointed a Judicial Commission, headed by former High Court judge Shrikant Malte, to probe the cause of the riots and check if there were ‘police excesses’.
In September 2014, however, Malte resigned from his post. He was reported to have felt humiliated by the use of certain words in the order granting the Commission an extension. The state in its letter had pointed out delays in the functioning of the Commission and also stated that was the last extension it would grant.
After a gap of 17 months, in March 2016, the government appointed a retired Bombay High Court Judge, K U Chandiwal, to head the commission. He submitted his report in October.