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Kanyakumari cop assures: Justice delayed, not denied


Rajdeep Sardesai,CNN-IBN
Feb 17, 2008 at 01:10am IST

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New Delhi: In the last week, if there was any image that moved, shocked and outraged the nation, it was the dramatic footage on an attempt to murder caught on camera. The incident took place in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari where two highway engineers were run over by a white Ambassador car when they were conducting a crackdown on illegal encroachments in the area.

The footage made headlines across India’s news media and the victims - Anthony Xavier and Sundaram – shot to instant fame. However, nearly 10 days after the incident, the main accused is still at large.

Senthil Kumar, the son of a temple priest Arjunan, was behind the wheel and a local lawyer and the priest’s son-in-law were named the other accused in the case. The lawyer was seen in the video having a heated argument with the authorities before the incident.

While the lawyer and the son-in-law were arrested on the day of the incident, Senthil fled and has been on the run since.

The Tamil Nadu police claim they have specific leads and will nab Senthil within two days, questions are being raised about a possible political pressure that could delay justice in the case.

On CNN-IBN show Big News, Rajdeep Sardesai asked SSP (Nagercoil) Santosh Kumar the reasons for the delay in police action.

“We are very close to nabbing the person. In this case, he is the only person left to be arrested. We arrested two people are seized the vehicle on that very day. Only the driver of the car fled from the spot. But we are close to nabbing him,” he said.

Santosh Kumar also confirmed that Senthil was the main accused. Incidentally, the officers were conducting a crackdown on the encroachments done by the temple authorities. But the police officer denied there was any “outside pressure”. “No, there is no pressure whatsoever on us. The accused are in jail right now. We have valuable leads but I can’t give out details because then it will compromise the investigation,” he said.

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