Over nine years after a trial court acquitted all accused in the sensational 2007 attack on the Madurai office of Tamil daily Dinakaran that left three employees dead, the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) on Thursday sentenced nine persons including key accused ‘Attack’ Pandi to life imprisonment.
A Division Bench of Justices P.N. Prakash and B. Pugalendhi delivered its verdict in the appeal preferred by the CBI against the verdict of the Principal District and Sessions court, Madurai. The lower court had acquitted the 17 accused in the case for want of sufficient evidence.
Holding the State vicariously liable, the court also ordered a compensation of ₹5 lakh each to the families of the three employees who died in the attack.
In 2007, the Dinakaran had carried a survey on who was the preferred choice to be the political heir of the then DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi.
Following the publication of the survey results, that favoured M.K. Stalin, a mob led by ‘Attack’ Pandi, then a close aide of former Union Minister M.K. Alagiri, hurled petrol bombs at the newspaper’s office in Madurai.