Puducherry child murder: Lt Guv says she understands public calls to shoot accused dead

Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan said she visited the home of the nine-year-old girl who was found dead, her hands and legs tied with coir, in a drain near her house on March 5.
Puducherry Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan
Puducherry Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan File Photo
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Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has said that she understands the public outcry to “hang” or “shoot dead” those accused in the murder of a nine-year-old child in Sholai Nagar of Muthialpet in the Union Territory. The Lt Governor was speaking at a press meet on March 7 when she made the declaration. Tamilisai said when she was visiting the nine-year-old’s home to offer condolences, many women told her “hang those men” and “shoot them dead.” “I know we cannot take the law into our own hands, but I can understand those women’s sentiments,” she said.

Tamilisai later repeated these lines in an interview to News 18 Tamil after the press meet, adding, “The accused deserve to be severely punished. The minute we speak about capital punishment, the human rights activists show up. There is no place for them here.” She also told the channel that laws alone could not be a solution and that society should hold men to similar standards as are expected of women. “If a woman comes back at 10pm, she is questioned at her home, but a man is never questioned even if he comes back at 2am,” she said in the interview. 

Meanwhile, large crowds gathered in solidarity at the funeral of the child in Puducherry. The nine-year-old was found murdered on March 5, 72 hours after her parents reported her missing from her house on the night of March 2. Her body was recovered from a drain near her home in Sholai Nagar, with her hands and legs tied with coir. The child had gone missing while playing outside the house. When police reviewed CCTV footage from the neighbourhood, there was no trace that she had left the locality. After days of door-to-door searches, police and neighbours found the child’s body wrapped in a bedsheet-like material and left inside a narrow drain. Two men, identified as Vivekandanan (56) and Kakka (alias) Karunas (19), were arrested on March 6 as the first and second accused respectively. 

At the press meet, Tamilisai also said that she understands the sentiment of the people who are protesting and that if she had been in their place she would do the same.

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