Pondy to fast-track acid attack case

Pondy to fast-track acid attack case

Pondy to fast-track acid attack case

The Pondicherry Union Territory (UT) administration is all set to fast-track the trial of the barbaric sexual assault case involving 23-year-old Vinodhini, who succumbed in Chennai on Tuesday to severe burn injuries from an acid attack by a youth in Karaikal, even as thousands of people across Tamil Nadu and the UT paid a tearful homage to her  on Wednesday.

The accused Suresh, who was charged with ‘attempt to murder’ and lodged in Karaikal jail in the UT, had stalked Vinodhini and thrown acid on her in November last after she spurned his romantic advances. But Suresh will now have to face a more grievous charge of murder for causing the death of the hapless girl, similar to the recent gang-rape case in Delhi.

Official sources in Karaikal told Deccan Herald over phone that an additional charge sheet against Suresh will be filed before the Sessions Judge there, converting Section 307 IPC (attempt to murder) charges into Section 302 IPC (murder) charges, after obtaining Vinodhini’s post mortem report from the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital in Chennai and recording the doctor’s statement on the girl’s death.

“We have already made a plea for speedy trial of this case,” the sources added. Even as the outcry against sexual assaults on women grew in both Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry by civil rights and women’s groups, what was moving today was thousands of students paying floral tributes to quickly done-up portraits of Vinodhini at different places.

After the victim’s body was handed over to her relatives after the post mortem here, Vinodhini’s mortal remains, bundled up in a white cloth with only a small portion of her face kept open sans her lost eyes, was kept for public homage at Koyembedu.

Vinodhini’s body was then taken to Pondicherry where hundreds of students, mostly girls, paid tearful homage. The last rites for the deceased girl will be performed in their family ancestral village of Thirukadaiyur on the Tamil Nadu side of the border near Karaikal, official sources said. Floral tributes, candle light marches and demands for better security for girl students and working women marked the moving homage paid to Vinodhini in both States.

Meanwhile, various political party leaders, including Velmurugan and Thol Thirumavalavan, demanded that Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry governments should ban the free movement and sale of deadly acids like nitric acid, which was thrown on Vinodhini by her assailant.

To curb the menace of acid attacks, trade in acids should be regularised as done in the case of explosives, they urged.