The Kerala Assembly polls will bring into focus a couple of constituencies across the state where a high profile political competition will work out. One of those places is Dharmadom, where Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will be running for the second time. While the Congress is stuck in a group struggle over the constituency, the Walayar mother has already announced that she would run against Pinarayi, and she would be submitting her nomination papers today.
“I am not contesting to win; instead, I am looking at this election and my candidature as an opportunity to ask the Chief Minister why justice was denied to me,” she told a media person, adding that she will tell the people of Dharmadom about her struggles and the injustice she had faced. Of the many institutional failures, the mother is trying to highlight the part of the original investigative officers in debilitating the probe, thus hindering future efforts to reach the truth.
The Kerala High Court had agreed to this allegation, when it said, “A lack of efficient investigation by an officer is embarrassing to the entire state police force. The government must make sure that their police officers can professionally handle such cases. Serious lapses in the investigation of such high profile cases can create contempt for the state government. The Court had dismissed the POCSO court verdict acquitting the accused in the Walayar case.
In 2017, the two minor Dalit sisters were found hanging in their hut in Walayar. The 13-year-old elder sister was found on January 13, following which the nine-year-old younger girl had testified that she saw her sister’s attackers. The younger girl was found dead on March 4 in a similar fashion. After further postmortem report indicating multiple cases of sexual assault on the girls, with the younger one’s report indicating vaginal penetration as well, the police added more sections to the investigation.
After days of work, the investigating officers arrested five people — V Madhu, M Madhu, Shibu, Pradeep Kumar, and a juvenile. However, the Court acquitted the accused due to lack of evidence, since the prosecution’s side was filled with hearsays, inconclusive, and circumstantial evidence. The parents of the victims, action councils, activists, and opposition parties had blamed the police for botching the investigation.