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Bus burning case:3 AIADMK men sent to gallows
February 16, 2007 11:15 IST
Three All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam workers, who had been found guilty of murder in the February 2000 Dharmapuri bus burning case, were on Friday sentenced to death by a Salem court.
The three AIADMK workers are Nedu alias Nedunchezhiyan, the then secretary of the Dharmapuri town AIADMK unit, Madhu alias Ravichandran, the then town MGR forum functionary, and P Muniappan, a former panchayat president.
The three girl students of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, were burnt alive on February 2, 2000 when their college bus was set ablaze near Elakiyampatti in Dharmapuri following the conviction of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the Kodaikanal Pleasant Stay Hotel case.
The case was initially heard by a court in Krishnagiri but the Madras high court transferred it to Salem during the previous AIADMK regime. The high court also appointed senior advocate R Srinivasan as the special public prosecutor but the then government took over 15 months to issue the notification on it.
A total of 123 prosecution witnesses and two court witnesses, including the then TNAU vice-chancellor and the Dharmapuri collector were examined. The students of the university were on a study tour to a government farm in Dharmapuri and their bus was stopped and burnt, even as the three girls were inside.
The bus was burnt despite plea by the students and teachers not to harm innocent students. The gory incident had led to protests among the student community all over the state then.