The Madras High Court on Monday came down heavily on those who indulged and also provoked Sunday’s violence, following the death of a Class XII girl in a private school hostel at Chinnasalem in Kallakurichi district on Wednesday, and ordered stringent criminal action against all of them.
Justice N Sathish Kumar said the peaceful protests turning violent suddenly did not appear to be a mere act of provocation. He said it only appeared to be “an organised crime.” The judge directed the State police to form special teams to identify the miscreants who had instigated the protests and subject them to prosecution.
The court also wanted the police to take action against those who had been conducting parallel investigation and trial in the social media regarding the girl’s death. He wondered what was the necessity for the courts and the police if people could take law into their hands and indulge in hooliganism.
The observations were made during the hearing of a writ petition filed by the girl’s father seeking a re-postmortem of the body. Accepting his request, the judge ordered re-postmortem by a team of doctors and permitted the petitioner as well as his advocate K. Kesavan to be present without causing any interference.
Expressing deep sense of anguish over the violence having created an impression as if Tamil Nadu was a State of lawlessness, the judge directed the police to take it as a test case and ensure that the action taken against the perpetrators of the violence sends a strong signal to all others who might indulge in such acts in future.
The judge further said that in future, whenever deaths were reported in educational institutions, the investigation must be taken up by the CB-CID and the post-mortem must be conducted by a team of three doctors. He recorded the submission of State Public Prosecutor that in the present case, the probe was transferred to CB-CID on Sunday.
Deciding to monitor the investigation to be done by the police regarding Sunday’s violence, the judge called for a status report by July 29. He also restrained the girl’s parents from giving interviews to the media since the police feared that it might aggravate the situation further.
The court also directed the parents to accept the girl’s body after re-postmortem and conduct her funeral rites peacefully.