Retd Lt Col arrested for Dilshan killing

Chennai: A former Lt Colonel was on Sunday arrested for the killing of 13-year-old Dilshan a week back inside the army residential complex for plucking mangoes and almonds as he was annoyed with boys trespassing in the area.

With the police zeroing on him on the basis of its probe, 58-year-old retired Lt Col Kandaswamy Ramraj, a native of Madurai, confessed to having shot Dilshan with his rifle from a balcony.

Ramraj has been booked by the Tamil Nadu Police crime branch under Section 302 (murder) of IPC. He was produced before a special court which remanded him to judicial custody for 15 days.

"We have got a major breakthrough in the Dilshan murder case. We confronted the retired army officer with physical witnesses and evidences which made him to confess," CBCID ADGP R Sekar told reporters on the killing of Dilshan who fell to the bullet when he trespassed into the army residential quarters last Sunday.

Stating that the retired army officer got annoyed by the frequent trespassing of the boys to pluck mangoes and almonds, he said, "this lead him to shoot from his rifle from a balcony at the time of incident."

"He used to yell at the boys who trespassed frequently to pluck mangoes and chase them," Sekar said.

Ramraj, a former Assistant Engineer (Arms section), admitted that he threw the rifle in the Cooum river here along with the bullets after the incident, Sekar said.

"With the help of fire tenders we were able to recover the weapon imported from United States and efforts are on to locate the bullets," he said, adding that the car used for hiding the weapon was also seized.

Sekar said that though initially police came to know there were only three children at the time of incident it later came to light that there was a fourth boy who informed them about a senior army man who tried to erase the evidence, he said.

With the help of fourth boy, police could zero in on Ramraj who initially refused to admit that he owned a licensed weapon but later confessed that he had applied for renewal of license with the suburban police, he said.