Kumbakonam school fire horror: 10-year jail for founder
July 30, 2014  13:55
A local court has sentenced Palanisamy, owner and founder of the Kumbakonam school to 10 years in jail. The quantum of punishment for the nine others convicted today, for the devastating fire that charred to death 94 school children, will be announced shortly.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Mohammed Ali pronounced the verdict in the packed court hall amid tight security as parents and relatives of the deceased children assembled outside the court.

Of the convicted, five persons were held guilty under various IPC sections including 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), and provisions of Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Act, 1973.

Those found guilty under these sections were Palanisamy, owner and founder of the School, his wife and correspondent Saraswathi, headmistress Santhalakshmi, noon meal organiser Vijayalakshmi and cook Vasanthi.

On July 16, 2004, a fire broke out from the makeshift noon meal kitchen and spread to a thatched roof hut in the first floor killing 94 children and causing burns to 18 others.

The heart-wrenching incident that occurred in Sri Krishna Aided Private School, Saraswathi Nursery and Primary School and Sri Krishna Girls High School located on Kasiraman Street in a narrow building brought to fore the utter negligence of authorities over safety norms.

About 700 students were studying in these schools.
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