7 06 2008

5 held for lynching disabled youth

7 June 2008

The Times of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/5_held_for_lynching_disabled_youth/articleshow/3108256.cms

Villupuram: Following the macabre incident in a Villupuram hamlet, in which villagers set afire a mentally challenged man from Chennai mistaking him to be a burglar, police took into custody five persons, slapping on them charges of murder and rioting. About 20 villagers have been detained for interrogation.

The incident, which sent shock waves across the district, took place on Thursday when Venkatesan (35), who suffered speech impairment and became mentally unstable after an accident 12 years ago, left his relative’s house in Veerambur village in search of his mother Kamalammal and sister Saradha, who had gone to attend a funeral ceremony.

He wandered into Ezhusempon village and was surrounded by villagers, worried over a recent spate of burglaries and murders for gain in the region. The aggressive villagers detained Venkatesan and badgered him for his details, without realising that he was a mute and mentally challenged.

Growing suspicious when he failed to reply, the villagers tied him to a tree and assaulted him. When he fell unconscious, they dragged him to a nearby burial ground and set him on fire, police officials said.

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