Chennai, Feb 28(BPNS)
Madras High Court judge, Justice Velmurugan will be traveling to the Vachathi tribal hamlet on March 4th before pronouncing judgment in the three-decade-old rape and assault case of tribal women by several government officials.
The court has reserved orders in the appeal of the convicts who were government officials with the revenue, police, and forest departments of Tamil Nadu.
The government servants were convicted of raping 18 tribal women, assaulting men and killing cattle. The incident occurred on June 20, 1992 and the officials had visited the village to investigate a sandalwood smuggling case.
According to the investigating officers, there were 155 forest personnel, 108 policemen and 6 revenue officials who were involved in the Vachathi case. Under the pretext of unearthing a sandalwood smuggling case and to get information on forest brigand Veerappan, the officials ransacked the village, raped 18 tribal women, assaulted more than 100 men and killed the cattle of the villagers. The raid continued for two days and the entire village was demolished.
The case was probed by the CBI and a special court convicted and of the 269 accused all were convicted on 29 September 2011. The convicts had gone on an appeal to Madras High Court which has now reserved the judgment and Justice Velmurugan hearing the case has decided to visit the tribal hamlet Vachathi on March 4.