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Tsundur verdict: prosecutors piqued

Ramesh Susarla and P. Samuel Jonathan

Photo: T. Vijaya Kumar

Shell-shocked: Women wailing outside the court building after 21 accused were given life sentence at Tsundur in Guntur district on Tuesday.

TSUNDUR (GUNTUR DT): The prosecution is recommending to the State Government to go in for an appeal in the High Court against the judgment in the Tsundur case. Special Public Prosecutor B. Chandrasekhar and Assistant Public Prosecutor G. S. Nageswara Rao, who were appointed by State Government exclusively for this case, said the court had failed to see a conspiracy angle and common motive of killing Dalits and hence the sentence was “not satisfactory” to them.

It was for the final judgment that Mandu Tulasamma, a widow at Ambedkar Colony here, has been waiting with bated breath.

Ever since she lost her two sons in the brutal carnage against Dalits unleashed by persons belonging to upper castes on August 6, 1991 in the village, she has been waiting for justice to be meted out to her.

And when Special Judge Anis pronounced the verdict, Tulasamma broke down. Quickly gaining her composure, she angrily said: “I was denied justice, as the guilty have been let off. The perpetrators of the heinous crime would still roam freely in the village.” Recalling the events on the fateful day, she said: “There was no trace of my younger son the whole day. The next day, someone said that they had seen his body in a canal. My elder son Narayana broke down on hearing the news and he died of heart attack.”

Kula Nirmoolana Porata Samithi district secretary K. Krishna said at least 100 of the accused were let off and his organisation would appeal in the High Court seeking justice.

Koori Rami Reddy, who runs a tea stall, said: “I was not in the village when the incident occurred and I was falsely implicated in the case. I am happy that the ordeal is now over. It has been too long,” Koori Rami Reddy, owner of a tea stall, said.

As an edgy atmosphere gripped the village on the day of the judgment, a large contingent of policemen, media and leaders of Dalit organisations gathered there.

The silver lining for the convicted was that they could appeal in the High Court within 30 days. The 21 sentenced to life would be shifted to Rajamundry Central Prison after legal formalities at the court. The jail term of some of the 35 others, who were sentenced to one-year RI, would be reduced as they had spent varying periods -- six months to over one year -- as undertrials 15 years ago.

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