CUDDALORE/KALLAKURICHI: After 10 days, the Class 12 girl found dead at a Kallakurichi private school on July 13 was laid to rest amid heavy police presence at her village near Veppur on Saturday afternoon. At least 1,000 people, including several MLAs and State Labour Welfare Minister CV Ganesan, paid their homage.
Speaking to reporters after the funeral, the girl’s father said his child had not been buried but sowed.“Such a thing shouldn’t happen to any other student in the future,” he said, alleging the school correspondent, his wife, their two sons, and three teachers were responsible for her death. He urged the State government to take immediate action to punish them. Two teachers and three officials of the Sakthi Matriculation Higher Secondary School have been arrested in connection with the child’s death so far.
The child’s parents, who had earlier refused to accept her body alleging foul play, received the mortal remains from the Kallakurichi Government Medical College Hospital in the morning, accompanied by their lawyers. Ganesan and Kallakurichi district collector Sravan Kumar Jatavath paid their respects to the child at the hospital before an ambulance took the remains to the village.
At the village, the family conducted the last rites as per their traditions with almost all villagers visiting their house and paying respects. Relatives explained that the girl wanted to be a doctor and said she was buried in the village graveyard with a zoology text book and her pen.
A relative said the family had initially planned to cremate the remains as per their tradition but opted for a burial based on legal advice. Over 500 villagers, including women, joined the final procession.“This is the first time in our village that women are joining the procession and going up to the graveyard,” a villager said.
Police, facing flak for not being prepared for the riot that broke out on July 17 in connection with the case, were on guard from morning. Close to 700 police personnel were deployed in and around the village under Cuddalore SP S Sakthi Ganesan. Police did not allow outsiders entry into the village. The arrival of the child’s remains was briefly delayed as the ambulance carrying the body met with a minor accident on the way. Police said ambulance rammed a police vehicle travelling ahead when it suddenly stopped. None was injured.
The child’s family had earlier refused to accept the body, alleging foul play in her death. They had moved the Madras HC and the Supreme Court seeking a second postmortem and by a team that included experts of their choice.
The HC ordered a fresh autopsy but did not entertain the request to include experts of the family’s choice. On Friday, the family finally told the court it would accept the body. The court ordered the autopsy reports to be analysed by JIPMER doctors.Meanwhile, the CB-CID is probing the death of the child while a Special Investigation Team is investigating the July 17 violence. Over 300 people have been held in connection to the violence.
Rishivandhiyam MLA Vasantham K Karthikeyan, Vriddhachalam MLAs R Radhakrishnan, Kallakurichi MLA M Senthilkumar and Bhuvanagiri MLA A Arunmozhithevan as well as former MLA R Kumaraguru and Moovendar Munnetra Kazhagam leader G M Sridhar Vandaiyar were among those who attended the funeral and paid their respects on the day.