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Victims' kin hail bus burning case verdict
February 16, 2007 14:05 IST
"Though late, it is the correct judgment," was how the parents of three victims of the bus burning case of February 2000 reacted after a Salem court sentenced three All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam men to death.
"God has given good justice. At one time we were apprehensive whether the trial would proceed or not," they told PTI soon after Additional Sessions Judge D Krishnaraja delivered the sentence, bringing down the curtains on the seven-year-old case.
Kokilavani, Hemalatha and Gayathri -- students of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University -- were burnt alive when a mob set fire their college bus at Illakkiampatti in Dharmapuri on February 2, 2000 after a special court convicted AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa in the Kodaikanal Plesant Stay Hotel case.
Kokilavani's father N P Veerasamy, on whose plea Madras High Court transferred the case from Krishnagiri to Salem and ordered fresh trial, said they (the victims' relatives) were pained at the progress of the case before he approached the high court.
D Rajendran, DIG of Crime Branch CID police, which investigated the case along with a special investigation team, said the judgment was a reward to the good work done by his agency.
Police had made elaborate security arrangements, including use of metal detectors, in the court complex and only those connected with the case were allowed. Salem Police Commissioner K Gopalakrishnan was present in the court hall.
Court sources said this was the first death penalty awarded in the district after 1970 when four persons were sentenced to death in a case relating to the murder of four persons.
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