A retired Army officer who shot dead a 13-year-old boy for trespassing into an Army residential compound in Chennai was found guilty by a fast-track court which awarded him life sentence for the shocking murder that spread outrage in the state.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Kandasamy Ramraj,58,a former assistant engineer in the Small Arms wing of the Electrical and Mechanical Department was charged of shooting K Dilson,a boy who resided in a slum colony near the Old Fort Glacis Officers’ Enclave at Island Grounds area in the heart of Chennai. He shot Dilson on July 3,a school holiday as it was a Sunday,when the boy and his friends were plucking fruits inside army compound.
The bullet from the US-made .30 calibre M1 Springfield rifle pierced the child’s head and came out through the other side,leaving him dead on the spot.
As the murder caused instant outrage among the public and politicians alike,the Tamil Nadu government had entrusted the Crime Branch-CID to investigate the case,who zeroed in on Ramraj based on leads given by the boys who were with Dilson at the time of the incident. These suspicions were confirmed by information collected using mobile phone signals in the area,and Ramraj’s confession which led to the recovery of the rifle from the bottom of the Cooum river nearby.
The fifth fast track court that heard the case examined as many as 50 witnesses,and considered evidences including forensic and ballistic reports that confirmed that the rifle for which Ramraj had taken licence in 2004 while he was posted at Jabalpur,Madhya Pradesh was indeed the murder weapon.
Before the verdict was pronounced today after the hearing that lasted two weeks,Ramraj told the court that he was innocent. However,with all the evidences proving this claim wrong,Judge R Radha found him guilty and awarded him life imprisonment. He was also found guilty under Arms Act for possessing the gun even after the expiry license for which he was given three years jail term,which will,however,run concurrently with the life term.
Ramraj was slapped a fine of Rs 60,000 of which Rs 50,000 should be paid to Dilson’s family as compensation.