Notices served for social media trials, police tell HC

63 YouTube channels, 31 Twitter accounts, and 27 FB pages in the dock
Representative Image
Representative Image Reuters

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Police on Friday informed the Madras High Court that notices have been sent to several YouTube Channels, Twitter accounts, and Facebook pages for conducting parallel trials in the suspicious death of a Kallakurichi school girl. On July 17, a protest against the school management surged as massive violence in Kaniyamoor, Chinnasalem.

When Justice N Sathish Kumar took up a plea by the deceased girl’s father on the re-postmortem of the Class 11 student, State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohamed Jinnah appraised the status of the SIT investigation, in a sealed cover, before the judge. The PP submitted that police had served notice to 63 YouTube channels, 31 Twitter accounts, and 27 Facebook pages for conducting a parallel trial in the school girl death case.

“The social media trials are also making an impact on the police investigation,” the PP added.

Recording the submission, the judge observed that police shall take action against the YouTube channels and other social media accounts which are interrupting the investigation with their trials on the internet.

Jinnah further said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), with an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and Inspector of Police has been formed to probe the case.

“Separate investigations are being carried out into the suspicious death of the school girl and the violence that vandalised the school. As the correspondent of the school is linked to another case, the same is also being probed. The investigation is exploring all angles and there is no intention to protect anyone,” the police said.

The prosecution noted that the re-autopsy ordered by the HC was conducted with an expert team and the body was handed over to the parents. “The re-autopsy documents were submitted to the JIPMER doctors team for their examination as ordered by the court,” the PP noted. The government further informed the court that after organising a parents-teachers meeting, online classes are currently underway for the students, adding, “It is noted that students studying from Class 9 to 12 have been accommodated in nearby schools temporarily.”

When the PP said these arrangements would continue for another two weeks in the school concerned, the court observed that the situation should not persist for more time. “The government shall take steps to resume offline classes in the school,” the judge noted. The HC directed the state government to ensure that all the residential schools must be having psychological counsellors to treat mentally vulnerable students. “The government shall appoint counselling officers for each district,” the court observed.

The judge adjourned the matter to August 29.

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