The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the investigation of the alleged rape and murder case of two minor girls at Walayar. The Court has directed the crime branch to submit all the files and records relating to the case to the Superintendent of Police, CBI, Thiruvananthapuram unit and has also directed the state government to provide all the logistical support for the case.
Justice VG Arun issued the order based on the petition filed by the mother of the victims in seeking a CBI probe. While issuing the directive Justice Arun observed that there need not be any further delay in entrusting the investigation with the CBI as any delay would be detrimental to the investigation of the case.
The two girls, aged 13 and nine, were found dead inside their one-room home 52 days apart in Walayar. The eldest of the siblings was found hanging inside their home at Walayar on January 13, 2017 and the younger sister on March 4 was found in the same manner.
As per the postmortem report, both were sexually assaulted. The autopsy report in the case of the younger girl even hinted the possibility of homicidal hanging.
The crime branch had conducted an investigation into the cases and arrested four persons. The two accused in the case, Valya Madhu and Kutti Madhu are girls’ mother’s close relatives while another accused Shibu, is a former co-worker of her parents. Pradeep Kumar, yet another accused lived near their house.
However, a special POCSO court in Palakkad had, in October 2019, acquitted the accused on the ground that the prosecution failed miserably to prove the case against them. Public outcry and protests had erupted in the state then, seeking justice for the family of the girls. The state government had on November 18, 2019 removed the Public Prosecutor who was in charge of the case.
In January this year, Kerala High Court set aside this order. The Court also ordered a re-trial in the case.
Meanwhile, the mother of the Walayar girls will be contesting as an Independent candidate against chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom constituency in the upcoming Assembly elections. She filed her nomination yesterday. While addressing the media, she said that the trust she placed on the Chief Minister’s promise of justice was misplaced. “We were taken for a ride right from the beginning,” she said.
Contesting in the upcoming elections would give her the opportunity to raise her voice against the CM who had not kept his promise to stand by her family. The mother of the two minor girls had tonsured her head on February 27 protesting the alleged inaction against the accused officers who had “botched” the initial investigation.
“One of those police officers was promoted and it prompted me to fight for justice once again. MJ Sojan who investigated the case is now SP and has been recommended to be conferred IPS. He sabotaged the investigation,” the mother said. She added that the Chief Minister had promised her that action would be taken against police officers but instead promoted one. “Why are the police trying so hard to save a few daily wage workers? I wonder whether the accused are the real culprits or whether someone else is involved,” she said.
After filing her candidacy, she said that her life is in danger and that she fears a death similar to that of founder of Revolutionary Marxist Party TP Chandrasekharan, who was allegedly hacked to death by the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI –M). She said that if anything were to happen to her, the blame was to fall on AK Balan and his CPI-M party.