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Two guilty of Aladi Aruna murder, charges against S.A. Raja not proved

Staff Reporter

Public Prosecutor says he would prefer appeal against the acquitted

— LATTER PHOTO: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Aladi Aruna, the victim (left), and S. Arulraja alias S.A. Raja who was acquitted.

TIRUNELVELI: The District Principal Sessions Court here on Wednesday found two persons guilty of murdering former Union Law Minister Aladi Aruna.

But it held that the charges against six others, including the chairman of the Rajas Group of Companies and Rajas Group of Educational Institutions, S. Arulraja alias S.A. Raja of Vadakkankulam, were not proved.

Judge K. Bhaskaran posted the case for Thursday for sentencing .

The judge observed that the prosecution had proved the charges against P. Bala alias Balamurugan (33) of Tirunelveli Junction and D. Azhagar alias Valarntha Azhagar (29) of Karuvampalayam near Tirupur of murdering Aladi Aruna and [his friend] R. Ponraj, while on a morning walk at Puthupatti Road off the Tirunelveli-Tenkasi highway on December 31, 2004.

The police had established the charge that the duo also tried to kill Socrates, who accompanied the victims, he said.

The judge, while holding the first accused, M. Veldurai of Maruthappapuram, guilty of possessing a firearm without a valid licence, said the prosecution had not established the charges against S. Arumugam of Sivalaarkulam, S. Paramasivan of Maruthappapuram near Alangulam, P. Kannan of Vadamadurai, S. A. Raja, R. Arjunan of Munnar and P. Dhanasingh of Siruthondanallur in Tuticorin district.

Since ‘Dog’ Ravi had jumped bail, the case was split. A separate hearing is going on since he was nabbed.

Jubilant

A jubilant Mr. Raja, while leaving the court with his sons, said: “Truth has triumphed, ultimately.”

Public Prosecutor Selvaraj said he would prefer an appeal against the verdict.

The prosecution case was that Mr. Raja had hired mercenaries led by Veldurai to murder Aladi Aruna, as he was facing problems from the former Minister in running his engineering college near Alangulam. Aruna had also started an engineering college in the area.

While Bhaskar alias ‘Auto’ Bhaskar allegedly committed suicide in the Cheranmahadevi police station during interrogation, Benny alias Benedict consumed poison in a hideout in Ahmedabad when he was about to be nabbed by a special police team.

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