Trial in the sensational Dilson murder case concluded with 55 prosecution witnesses, including four minors and defence officials, giving evidence in a Fast Track Court. With the case posted to March 5 for examination of defence witnesses, if any, investigators in the Crime Branch CID expect the judgment in a couple of weeks.
Thirteen-year-old Dilson of Indira Gandhi Nagar was shot dead on the defence residential complex on Flag Staff Road on July 3, 2011, when he went there to pluck fruits along with his friends. A week later, CB-CID arrested retired Army officer Lt. Col. Kandasamy Ramaraj, an expert in small arms, in connection with the murder.
Lt. Col. Ramaraj lived in one of the two houses located in close vicinity to the scene of firing. Even as he denied having shot at Dilson, investigation pointed to his involvement, sources in the agency said.
Following a tip-off that the suspect who drove out of the complex soon after the firing was seen in his car near the Napier Bridge, a team searched the Cooum and found an imported rifle. Live rounds of ammunition were also seized from the river.
After ballistic experts confirmed that the bullet fired at Dilson was shot from the 0.30 calibre ‘Springfield Rifle' seized from the river, police arrested Lt. Col. Ramaraj. “The boy and his friends often visited the defence residential complex to pluck fruits. Some of the stones thrown at the tree fell on vehicles parked in the campus which irked the accused. In a fit of rage, he shot at Dilson,” a CB-CID official said.
The rifle was issued to him by the Army and he had applied to the erstwhile Chennai Suburban Police authorities for renewal of licence. “Of the 74 witnesses in the case, 55 deposed before the fifth FTC judge. Four minors, cited as eyewitnesses, told the court that they saw Lt. Col. Ramaraj trying to conceal evidence at the scene of firing,” he said.
While Army authorities confirmed that the rifle seized in the case was in the possession of Lt. Col. Ramaraj, a Bhopal-based salesperson testified in the court that he had supplied the ammunition to the accused.