Kallakurichi student suicide: Tamil Nadu DGP constitutes SIT to probe post-death violence

Questions for the SIT: Was violence part of a conspiracy? Who were the rioters? And who instigated them on social media?

ByShilpa Nair

Published Jul 19, 2022 | 4:33 PMUpdatedJul 28, 2022 | 12:04 PM

Kallakurichi violence

On the directions of the Madras High Court, Tamil Nadu DGP C Sylendra Babu on Tuesday, 19 July, constituted a Special Investigation Team to “conduct an in-depth investigation into the rioting, arson and connected incidents” which took place at the Sakthi Matriculation Higher Secondary School in Kallakurichi district on 17 July following the death of a class 12 girl student.

The SIT will be headed by Salem range DIG of Police Praveen Kumar Abhinapu.

Other members of the SIT are S Radhakrishnan (Commandant 5th Battalion, Avadi), M Kingshlin (SP, Crime against women and children, Chennai), Thirumal (Additional SP, Headquarters, Villupuram district), Muthumanikkam (Additional SP, Headquarters, Thiruppathur district), and Chandramouli (Additional SP, Namakkal district).

Suspecting foul play in the death of the class 12 student, protestors gathered in large numbers at the private school on 17 July to demand justice for the girl. The protestors outnumbered the police personnel stationed at the spot, which led to massive violence.

The school was vandalised, records of thousands of students were destroyed, several buses were set on fire and police officials were also attacked in the violence.

Kallakurichi school violence

Several buses were put on fire by the protestors during the riots that broke out at the private school in Kallakurichi. Credit: PTI

The SIT has been asked to take up the investigation of cases filed at the Chinna Salem police station and any other case registered in connection with the violence that erupted at the private school on 17 July.

According to the memorandum issued by the DGP, the SIT has been asked to unearth the entire conspiracy behind the rioting, identify violators captured in video footage as well as those who created WhatsApp groups and spread false information about the death of the student which resulted in the violence.

Importantly, the SIT has also been directed to take appropriate action to identify YouTubers who spread false information and conducted a media trial in the case on social media platforms.

On Monday, 18 July, the Madras High Court took serious note of the violence and vandalism at the private school in Kallakurichi. Terming it as an “organised crime”, Justice N Satish Kumar directed the state police to take stern action against the perpetrators so that it could serve as a lesson for those who wish to indulge in such acts in the future.

The court has also asked the police department to file a status report by 29 July, when the case will be taken up for hearing next.

Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin held a meeting via video conferencing with Education Minister Anbil Mahesh, minister EV Velu and senior government officials to discuss the Kallakurichi incident.