The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mob fury chars rapist

Chennai, Sept. 8: An angry mob took matters into its own hands, burning an alleged rapist to death at a village in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district.

Residents of the remote Vazhur village in Vandavasi taluk decided to “teach a lesson for all time to come to such rapists” on Saturday night after hearing that Asokan, 35, had lured an eight-year-old girl to a sugarcane field and allegedly raped her.

Tiruvannamalai district superintendent of police A. Pari said five villagers have been charged with murder and remanded in judicial custody by the Vandavasi judicial magistrate.

Asokan, who had served a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence for raping a 55-year-old woman in 1997, reportedly offered to buy the girl, who was playing on a street, something to eat.

Police say he then took the girl to a sugarcane field nearby and raped her. The girl made her way back to her colony, weeping.

A large crowd gathered and angry relatives of the girl set off in search of Asokan. Finding his abandoned two-wheeler, they set it ablaze. When the accused emerged after a while from the fields where he was hiding, the mob set upon him, beating him and tying him to a tree. The crowd then doused him with kerosene and burnt him to death, reports reaching the state police headquarters here said.

Pari rushed to the village on hearing of the incident. “This is a very unusual case,” he said.

Asked if the rape victim would be paid compensation, the police superintendent said investigations were on.

Unable to put up with his ways, Asokan’s wife and daughter reportedly committed suicide in February 2001.

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