For bid to intimidate witnesses in court, 27 Chennai students jailedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/for-bid-to-intimidate-witnesses-in-court-27-chennai-students-jailed-6072622/

For bid to intimidate witnesses in court, 27 Chennai students jailed

According to police, the students were trying to help their classmate who is a cousin of two men accused in the murder last year of a brick kiln owner in Tiruvallur, about 50 km north of Chennai city.

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Police said those arrested from the sessions court hall in Tiruvallur, where the trial is being conducted, were first and second-year students of the Nandanam government arts and science college in Chennai.

In a bizarre court-room drama, 27 college students in Chennai were arrested and sent to jail Tuesday for allegedly trying to intimidate witnesses in a murder trial — by staring at them.

According to police, the students were trying to help their classmate who is a cousin of two men accused in the murder last year of a brick kiln owner in Tiruvallur, about 50 km north of Chennai city.

Police said those arrested from the sessions court hall in Tiruvallur, where the trial is being conducted, were first and second-year students of the Nandanam government arts and science college in Chennai.

“All of them were mobilised by the accused in the court hall during the trial. They were trying to intimidate witnesses. They had come from different places outside Tiruvallur. The police were alerted by one of the witnesses and we secured them from the court itself,” said P Aravindan, SP Tiruvallur.

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“There were six witnesses to be heard. As the court procedure was on, one of the witnesses alerted an officer about the suspicious presence of youth inside the hall who were staring at him and others. As the statements of witnesses were being heard in a tense environment, these students had been asked to intimidate them. There were some 30 students and we managed to arrest 27,” said an officer who was present in court when the incident happened.

“They had come on the request of one of their classmates who is the cousin of two of the accused. The cousin brought them all the way from Chennai to Tiruvallur for the trial,” the officer said. The students have been remanded in Puzhal Central Jail in Chennai. The cousin of the accused, who got the students to court, were among those who managed to escape, police said.