PFI violence: Kerala govt apologises in court for delay in recovery proceedings

The High Court has directed the government to complete the recovery procedure by January. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Kochi: The Kerala government on Friday apologised in the High Court for the delay in recovery proceedings in connection with the damage to public property in the State during the violence in the hartal called for by the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI).

Reminding the State Government of its severity, the court had recently summoned the Home Secretary to appear in court.

It had also directed the government to complete the recovery procedure by January.

The State government on December 19 sought at least six months for the recovery proceedings, which the court rejected.

The government had on November 7 told the court that a loss of Rs 86 lakh was incurred due to the damage to property during the violence in the Statewide hartal in September.

The government had also submitted that a loss of Rs 16 lakh was suffered by private persons during the violence.

It had also said that the process to reclaim the loss from those who called for the violent hartal has been initiated.

The State government had said it has appointed former district judge P D Shargadharan as the Claims Commissioner.

A total of 724 people was apprehended as part of preventive detention, adding that all culprits have been identified and most of them arrested, State government had earlier said.

So far, the State police have registered a total of 361 cases and arrested 2,674 people.

Earlier, the High Court had asked the banned PFI and its ex-State general secretary to deposit Rs 5.2 crore with the Home Department towards damages estimated by the KSRTC and the State government in connection with the hartal-related violence saying they must be held accountable for it.

Sathar, when he was the State general secretary of the outfit, had called for the hartal against the nation-wide raids on PFI offices and arrests of its leaders, and then allegedly absconded.

Hours after the PFI was banned, he had issued a statement saying the outfit has been disbanded in the wake of the Home Ministry's decision and subsequently, he was arrested.

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