The Madras high court held a special sitting on Sunday to hear a plea of the wife of slain Tamil Nadu BSP president K Armstrong, seeking to bury his body in a vacant land in the city’s BSP party office and for a memorial to be built to perpetuate his Dalit ideals.

The HC allowed the burial to be held in neighbouring Tiruvallur district.

Armstrong’s wife had petitioned the court seeking to bury her husband-who was murdered on July 5 in Chennai- in a vacant land in the city’s BSP party office and for a memorial to be built to perpetuate his Dalit ideals. This had been rejected by the Greater Chennai Corporation on the grounds that it is a thickly populated residential area with high population density and is a primarily a residential zone where the approach road to the property is narrow with only 16 feet in width.

While the case was being heard by Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan, Armstrong’s body was kept at government school for people to pay their respects. BSP party leader Mayawati and national coordinator Akash Anand paid their respects and demanded a CBI investigation into the murder. The court reconvened twice at 12 noon and 2.15 pm for the petitioner and the government to arrive at an agreeable location.

Following this, the government told the court that Armstrong’s relative had given an application for allowing him to be buried at her property in Chennai’s adjoining district of Thiruvallur which was accepted by the Panchayat President of Pothur. “As the Government has issued appropriate sanction for converting the said land into the place for burial, which is in accordance with law and mortal will be laid in rest in the said place,” the court said.

If the petition intends to construct either a memorial, hospital or school in Armstrong’s name in the land owned by them in Chennai, the court directed the government to consider the application. Police, as directed by the court, gave protection for the procession which was about 20 kms from the burial place. “It is left open to the petitioner to approach the Government to redress any other grievance,” the justice said.

Armstrong (52) was murdered on the night of June 5 near his residence in Chennai. Police have arrested 11 accused in what they say is a retaliation killing for the murder of a gangster Arcot alias V Suresh.