Dindigul, January 20: The Principal District and Sessions Court of Dindigul, on Tuesday, acquitted seven suspected Maoists who were arrested on charges of imparting illegal arms training in Kodaikanal forest area in 2008.
The acquitted persons were Suriya alias Ranjith, Senthil alias Kannan, Kalidoss alias Sekar, Neelamegam alias Kathir alias Vinayak, Bagathsingh alias Sugadev, Kavya alias Reena Joise Mary and Shenbagavalli alias Sivasakthi. They were arrested during a raid by the Special Task Force at Vadakounji in Kodaikanal in April 2008. While one Naveen Prasad of the group died in the crossfire, the remaining persons had absconded.
Kodaikanal police registered a case against the seven persons under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. They were arrested at different points over the years and a charge-sheet was filed on April 9, 2018. Ranjith and Neelamegam were released on bail later.
After several directions issued by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court to expedite the trial while hearing the bail petitions filed by Shenbagavalli, the trial court completed the trial in the case on December 15, 2020.
Pronouncing her verdict in the case on Tuesday, Principal District Judge M K Jamuna acquitted all the seven suspects on the grounds that the charges against them were not proved, The New Indian Express reported.