Out of the four Christian Medical College Vellore students accused of torturing and killing a monkey, three have applied for anticipatory bail in a Vellore Court.
According to Serena Josephine M's report in The Hindu, two of the accused - Arun Louis Sasikumar and Rohit Kumar Yenokotti - applied for anticipatory bail on Wednesday, while Jasper Samuel Sahu had moved to the court on Tuesday. Sahu is 20-years-old and also the prime accused in the case.
The plea of fourth accused, Alex Chekkalayil, is scheduled for hearing on Thursday.
A case has been registered against the students under section 429 of the IPC and various sections of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The students were suspended from college on November 23.
On November 19, the four students allegedly captured and tortured a female Bonnet Macaque which had entered their hostel room. The body of the monkey was found buried behind the hostel mess on November 22 after Mumbai-based animal rights activist Meet Azar informed Chennai activists about an anonymous call he received about the act.
The Bonnet Macaque is a protected species under the Schedule II (part 1) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
"Getting bail is every citizen's right. In this case, the accused cannot be denied bail, however, the good thing is that the punishment for killing a species protected under Schedule II (part 1), is liable to imprisonment of up to three years and fine of Rs 25,000 or both," says Samyukta, Campaigner for Wildlife in Humane Society India.
She also says that it is unlikely that the students acted in self defence and should be handed the strictest punishment:
"Looking at the way in which the the monkey was killed, it appears that it was a complete conscious decision and not an act of self defense. They must be given the strictest of the punishment. This way the court could set an example."
Shravan Kumar, a Chennai-based animal rights activist told The News Minute about the findings of the postmortem:
"It showed that the monkeyâ€™s neck, hands and legs were tied up with a phone wire. The animalâ€™s knee, neck and ankle were fractured implying that it was thrashed. The worst cruelty that the animal was subjected to, was that it was impaled with a sharp object from behind and it came out from the front," he said.
Shravan also said that there were also 30 witnesses to the torture and subsequent murder of the animal.