DHARMAPURI: The much-awaited judgment in the sensational Vachathi mass rape and savage attack case was on Monday put off to September 29 (Thursday) as three of the 216 surviving accused failed to appear before the Principal District Judge S Kumaraguru here.
The judge issued warrants to produce before the court the absentee accused Angamuthu (A18), Rajanandham (A60) and Ramadas (A98) on Thursday. Almost every family from Vachathi, a nondescript village 12 km from Harur in Dharmapuri district, whose members were allegedly subjected to a reign of brutal assault and torture by forest and police department personnel during June 20-22, 1992, had converged on the court complex with great expectations only to return disappointed.
As many as 18 women of the village were raped during the raid conducted by forest officials accompanied by over 100 police personnel and six revenue department staff, in the aftermath of an alleged attack on some forest guards who had gone to seize hidden sandalwood from Vachathi.
“After more than 19 long years of wait, we had come here anticipating the verdict today. I even skipped my daily wage work under MNREGS to listen to the judge punishing the accused. I am deeply disappointed but I will certainly be back on Thursday,” said Saalam, a 50-something, woman