Staff Reporter

Ready to pay Rs.3 lakh to family of a driver who died in stone pelting

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday granted anticipatory bail to U. Thaniyarasu (42) and C. Arumugam (36) of Kongu Youth Front in four criminal cases only after they deposited Rs. 3 lakh as compensation to the wife and pregnant daughter of a Government bus driver who died in stone pelting on November 13.

Justice Raja Elango directed a Judicial Magistrate at Nilakottai in Dindigul district to hand over the two demand drafts for Rs.1.5 lakh each submitted by the petitioners, before the High Court, to the beneficiaries. The Dindigul Superintendent of Police (SP) was ordered to identify the victims before the Magistrate.

The judge also directed the petitioners to appear before the SP every day until further orders. He recorded the contention of petitioner’s counsel that the compensation was given only by accepting moral liability. It should not be construed as acceptance of guilt because the petitioners were not present at the scene of occurrence.

According to the police, Mr. Thaniyarasu attended a temple festival celebrated by people belonging to his caste at Kamatchipuram in Dindigul district on November 9. There, he was accused of speaking in a manner promoting enmity between two caste groups. A case was registered in this regard by the Vilampatti police.

Thereafter, on his way back home, the petitioner’s car dashed against a villager. It resulted in an altercation between the villagers and supporters of the petitioners. The police registered an attempt to murder case. Irked over this, he instigated his cadres, in many districts, over mobile phone to indulge in rioting, the police claimed.

There was large scale violence in Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Tiruppur and Coimbatore. Many government buses were damaged and a total of 18 cases were registered. One such bus plying from Madurai to Hosur was attacked on the Dindigul-Madurai National Highway leading to the death of the driver.