Students, parents and teachers of Suguna RIP V Matriculation School on Tuesday paid homage through floral tributes to the two students who were kidnapped and murdered on Thursday and by lighting candles.

Muskan (10) and Rithish (7) children of cloth merchant Ranjith and Sangeetha of RG Street were kidnapped and were murdered by drowning them in the canal after torturing the boy and sexually assaulting the girl. The bodies were recovered from the canal and two persons Mohan alias Mohanakrishnan and his associate Manoharan have been arrested by the police.

On Tuesday, when the school re-opened after two days of holidays following the kidnapping and murder, homage was paid to the two children. Many of the students and teachers broke down recalling the days of the children at school and their association with them. Some of the close friends of the students fondly recalled their association with Muskan and Rithish.

Correspondent of the School Lakshmi Narayanan recalled the smartness and academic excellence and friendly attitude of the children and said that it was a great loss for the parents and the institution. She exhorted the students to study well as a mark of respect for their classmates who are no more. Principal of the School Anthony Raj said that students should be taught self-defence and urged the parents to be cautious about persons with whom they allow the children to mingle.

Minister for Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry Pongalur N. Palanisamy paid respects to the children by placing a wreath at the burial ground and visited the house and consoled the family members. To the angry relatives who sought heavy punishment for the accused, Mr.Palanisamy said that the Government and the prosecution would leave no stone unturned to strengthen the case for securing the highest punishment to deter persons from indulging in such heinous crime and to render justice to the parents.

A number of various Merchants Associations observed a condolence meeting on Huzur Road in front Red Cross Society Buildings where they lit candles praying for the souls to rest in peace. At the condolence meeting, many of the speakers sought maximum punishment for the accused and even demanded that they be hanged in public. Meanwhile City Police Commissioner C. Sylendra Babu convened a meeting of the school managements, parents and drivers of school vehicles on Tuesday evening in a bid to sensitise the entire community on the measures to be undertaken for preventing such cruel crimes. He underlined the measures to be initiated by the parents as well as the school in monitoring the conduct, attitude of the drivers and should keep getting feedbacks about the drivers from the children.

He exhorted the need for the school and the parents having a list of private vehicles, ownership details, copy of registration certificate, photographs of the driver/spare driver, contact number. Parents and schools should always have all details relating to the driver/owner of the vehicle and spare driver. In addition, the police also mooted the idea of having an identity card for such drivers so as to have a mechanism to prevent such incidents failing which through such systems the criminals could be zeroed in quickly.

Mr.Babu said that the captivity of the children inside the vehicle, the torture meted out to them and their scream or cry could not reach the public on the roads. He called for removal of cool films on the windscreens of public transport vehicles such as call taxis before November 10. He said that failure to do so will attract punishment under the relevant provisions of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicle Rules and Central Motor Vehicle Rules.

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