A day after 23-year old acid attack victim Vinothini died in a Chennai hospital, Karaikal and Tirukkadaiyur — the two towns associated with her — plunged into depths of sorrow, even as political parties sought a fast track court to ensure speedy trial.
Apart from posters, her photographs were kept at public places for people to pay tributes in Karaikal. People, including school and college students, lit candles as a mark of respect. In many schools and colleges, a two-minute silence was observed.
The funeral will be held on Thursday morning after Vinothini’s body is brought to her father Jayapalan’s ancestral house, on the South Street near the Amirthakadeswara temple near Porayar in Nagapattinam district.
Meanwhile, people lit candles on the 7th cross street at MMG Nagar in Karaikal where Jayapalan had relocated from Tirukkadaiyur a few years ago to provide Vinothini a better education,. Karaikal town was flooded with homage posters and flex banners.
Vinothini’s aunts at Tirukkadaiyur said that no girl anywhere in the universe should undergo such a suffering. “Let Vinothini’s death act as a catalyst in awarding the harshest of punishment to criminals who perpetrate such inhuman acts. In this case, the culprit should not just be hanged, but made to undergo a similar suffering,” they said. Meanwhile, Vinothini’s relatives at Karaikal alleged that along with Suresh, three other persons were involved.
“A woman of the same area had passed on information to Suresh immediately after Vinothini had left home to board a bus to Chennai on the fateful night,” said her uncle Ramesh. He urged the police to conduct investigations from that angle and bring criminals to book.
Meanwhile, inPuducherry political leaders demanded that the UT government set up a fast track court for speedy trial in the Karaikal acid-attack case.
Leader of the Opposition, V Vaithilingam, said that existing laws, dealing with atrocities against women, should be given more teeth.
AIADMK Puducherry unit secretary Anbazhagan, MLA, in a statement, said that others were involved in the case who the police had not arrested and added that the person who had supplied the acid was yet to be found.
Anbazhagan said that neither Chief Minister, N Rangasamy, nor any minister from the cabinet visited the victim, who was hospitalised for over three months. He also urged the government to provide adequate solatium to the victim’s family. Anti-socials openly harass girl students and working women and police take no stern action against them, he said.
Anbazhagan said programmes should be held in schools and colleges to create awareness on the need of protecting women from violence. Meanwhile, Federation for People’s Rights secretary G Sugumaran said that the Karaikal police had not booked those who had supplied acid to the accused. He urged the administration to take proper steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the Union Territory and to create awareness among women, particularly school and college girls.
Meanwhile, Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee paid floral tributes to a portrait of Vinothini at Venkata Subba Reddiyar statue junction. Leader of the Opposition V Vaithilingam and other party functionaries participated.