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Madras HC judges inspect crime spot of Dalit youth murder

Chennai, Jan 22 (BPNS)

Madras High Court judges, Justice M.S. Ramesh and Justice Anand Venkatesh inspected the Tiruchengode Arthanareeswar temple and the rail track in Namakkal district where the body of Dalit youth Gokul Raj was found seven years before.

Gokul Raj was murdered by a gang headed by S. Yuvaraj, a self-proclaimed youth leader of a dominant caste outfit on charges that he had visited the Tiruchengode temple along with a girl, Swathi who belonged to the upper caste. He was abducted by the youth of the caste outfit and later his body was found with his head severed on the rail track near Pallipalayam in Namakkal district.

The Scheduled Caste youth, Gokul Raj was in love with Swathi, an upper caste girl, and had visited Tiruchendur temple along with her. Now Swathi has turned into a hostile witness in the case and is facing perjury.

The trial in the case was shifted to the Special Court for cases booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Madurai. The court had sentenced Yuvaraj and ten others to life imprisonment while acquitting five others. The mother of Gokul Raj,  Chithra had moved the Madurai bench of the Madras high court seeking capital punishment for Yuvaraj and others and against acquitting five others.

Judges M.S. Rameshan and Anand Venkiteshan decided to conduct an inspection of the crime scene to understand the topography of the area as also the exit and entrance gates as well as the CCTV location in the temple.

The judges inspected the area on Sunday and inspected all eight CCTV cameras as well as all entrances and exits.  After inspecting the temple premises, the judges inspected the rail track at Pallipalayam near Namakkal where the body of Gokul Raj with his head severed was found. The lawyers and family members of both Gokul Raj and Yuvaraj were present but they were not allowed to meet the Judges.