Tamil Nadu: Four get life sentence for revenge murder of money lender in 2015

The murder created caste enmity between backward-class communities then, sources said.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.

THOOTHUKUDI: The Principal District and Sessions Court in Thoothukudi awarded life sentences to four persons and acquitted seven others for the revenge murder of a moneylender in 2015. Sources said that as many as 14 people killed the money lender Pichaiah Thevar early on March 10, 2015, at Kongarayakurichi near Srivaikuntam. The murder was to avenge the killing of teacher and activist Sam Devasahayam, who was hacked by sand smugglers in July 2015.

Devasahayam was allegedly killed as he repeatedly petitioned the district administration about illegal sand quarrying operations in Thamirabarani River. A gang then murdered Pichaiah, suspecting he financially aided bail petitions of Devasahayam’s killers. The murder created caste enmity between backward-class communities then, sources said.

According to the FIR in Pichaiah’s murder, 14 people were chargesheeted — Anthoniraj (41), Robin (27), Ravi (48), Anbu Patturaj (40), Subburaj (45), Jegan Robert (33), Vijay (30), Muthupandi (35), Chellappa (52), Pichandi (47) and Selvaraj (28) and two minors. One suspect, Parthiban, died during the trials.

Hearing the case on Wednesday, Principal District Judge M Selvam convicted Anthoniraj, Robin, Ravi and Anbu Patturaj in connection to the murder of Pichaiah Thevar, and released the rest. The four convicts were sentenced to life and imposed a fine of `1,000 under sections 341 and 302 of IPC. Robin was additionally punished with an additional year in prison for charges under section 324 of IPC, an advocate said. However, the charges pending against the minors are under trial with the Juvenile Justice Board.

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