Parents of the children who were killed in the Kumbakonam Krishna School fire accident on July 16, 2004, heaved a sigh of relief as the trial in the case began in the district sessions court at Thanjavur on Monday.

“The trauma and the agony we underwent cannot be explained in words. While losing our children in the fire accident was the most painful thing in our lives, the case prolonging for eight long years was just as agonising. Now that the trial has begun, we hope that the guilty would be punished without delay,” said Inbarajan, a resident of Bypass road, Kumbakonam, who lost his sons, Anandaraj, a fifth standard student and Prakashraj, third standard student, in the tragedy. Even as he spoke to The Hindu, he broke down weeping as the thought crossed his mind that had they been alive now the boys would have been in college.

Mahenderan of Kumbakonam town also demanded quicker justice. “We should get some justice for the pain and trauma we have undergone. My son – Vignesh [who was a third standard student] died for no fault of his own. I sent him to study. But he paid with his life,” he said.

Mathiyalagan of Natham village near Kumbakonam also lost his son Ramanna, a fourth standard student. Along with his son, 12 other children of the same village died in the tragedy. “My heart is burning when I think that even after eight years, the guilty have not been punished in the case” he said in an emotion-choked voice.

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