2015 Dalit youth murder: Madras HC judges inspect crime spot, rail track

Madras High Court judges Justice M.S. Ramesh and Justice Anand Venkatesh inspected the Tiruchengode Arthanareeswar temple and the rail track in Tamil Nadu’s Namakkal district where the body of Dalit youth Gokul Raj, abducted and murdered in 2015 for going around with an upper class girl, was found.

Gokul Raj was murdered by a gang headed by S. Yuvaraj, a self-proclaimed youth leader of a dominant caste outfit, for visiting the Tiruchengode temple along with a girl, Swathi, who belonged to an upper caste.

The Dalit youth was abducted by the members of the caste outfit and later his body was found with his head severed on the rail track near Pallipalayam in Namakkal.

Gokul Raj was in love with Swathi and had visited Tiruchendur temple along with her. Now, Swathi has turned into a hostile witness in the case and is facing perjury.

A special court for cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Madurai had sentenced Yuvaraj and ten others to life imprisonment while acquitting five others.

Gokul Raj’s mother Chithra, however, had moved the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court seeking capital punishment for Yuvaraj and others and against the acquittal of five others.

Justices Ramesh and Venkatesh decided to conduct an inspection of the crime scene to understand the topography of the area as also the exit and entrance gates as well as the CCTVs’ location in the temple.

The judges inspected the area on Sunday and inspected all eight CCTV cameras as well as all entrances and exits.

After the temple premises, the judges inspected the rail track at Pallipalayam where the body of Gokul Raj with his head severed was found.

Lawyers and family members of both Gokul Raj and Yuvaraj were present but they were not allowed to meet the judges.

20230122-194602

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