Thanjavur: Atmosphere outside Principal District Court complex here, which on Wednesday pronounced verdict in the case of fire at a Kumbakonam primary school, was charged with emotion as parents of the victims and some witnesses were disappointed on the acquittal of 11 accused.
Most of the parents of the 94 children, who perished in the inferno, some of the survivors and others were disappointed with acquittal of 11 accused, including education department officials and teachers, and wanted all of them to be punished.
Principal District and Sessions Court Judge Mohammed Ali convicted ten accused, including the founder of the school, but acquitted 11 others.
Two of the students, who survived the July 16, 2004 mishap at the private school that also left 18 children injured, said they expected all the accused to be held guilty.
"We are disappointed by the acquittal. Had the teachers intervened, the students could have been saved. But they failed to do their duty," said Mercy Angelin, who is now studying in Plus Two, while reacting to the judgement.
Parents, including one Mala, also expressed disappointment over the acquittal of eleven accused.
Blaming the "indifference" of officials of the education and municipal department for the accident, she said: "We thought the judgement will be a lesson to all the officials and teachers. It is disappointing that 11 persons have been acquitted."
Recalling the horror moments 10 years ago, Mercy said she ducked under the bench and only outsiders saved her.
Parents and the victims said the accident was still green in their memory and wanted proper justice. They wanted the government to go in appeal against the judgement.