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Walayar rape case: After public outrage, Kerala government to file an appeal against court verdict, change prosecutor

Advocate N Rajesh, who had been defending the accused, was also made the chairman of the Child Welfare Committee when the trial was underway, adding to further speculations over the ruling party's involvement in protecting the accused. 

After facing massive protest over the handling of Walayar Rape case, in which two minor Dalit girls were brutally raped and murdered, the Kerala government has now decided to file an appeal against the court order acquitting the accused in the Walayar rape case.

According to the reports, the Communist government in Kerala led by Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday took the decision to file an appeal against the trial court verdict that had acquitted all the accused in the brutal murder and rape of two minor girls.

The high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan along with state police chief and Director General of Prosecution Manjeri Sreedharan Nair also decided to replace the public prosecutor.

“We will approach the court to continue with the investigation. All the legal possibilities to conduct a re-trial will be sought,” said Nair.

Read: Walayar Rape Case: Protests erupt against Kerala government over lapses in investigation after four accused gets an acquittal

On Monday, the civil society members across the country, especially in Kerala had expressed massive outrage against the Kerala government following the acquittal of all four persons in the rape and death case of two minor Dalit girls in Walayar in Palakkad district.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) had also found lapses from investigating officials in the case. Following this, CM had said in the Assembly that it would be decided after examinations whether a CBI probe or a re-probe was required or not.

Two years after two minor sisters in Walayar in Palakkad district were found dead in mysterious circumstances, a court in Palakkad on Friday acquitted three persons who were accused of abetment of suicide and rape of the two minor Dalit girls.

It is being accused that the Kerala police under political pressure, allegedly helped the accused evade the conviction by weakening the case. Ironically, the accused in the case are CPI(M) workers and the defence lawyer was a local CPI(M) leader.

The Case:

The two minor Dalit girls, who were sisters, were found hanging after being sexually assaulted in January and March 2017 in Attappalam in Walayar, near Kerala’s border with Tamil Nadu.

The elder sister, who was 13 years old, was found hanging in her house on January 13, 2017. Within two months, her 9-year-old younger sister was also found hanging in her house on March 4, 2017. The minor girls belonged to the Scheduled Caste community. According to the postmortem reports, the girls were subjected to sexual assault. The autopsy report in the case of the younger girl even suggested the possibility of homicidal hanging.

However, the police did not investigate the murder charges and the final report was submitted against four accused – V Madhu, M Madhu, Shibu and Pradeep Kumar for offences of abetment of suicide, rape and unnatural sex under the Indian Penal Code and penetrative sexual assault under the POCSO Act.

Another accused is a juvenile and proceedings against him are progressing in the Juvenile Justice Board.

The Special POCSO Court, Palakkad had acquitted one of the accused Pradeep Kumar on September 30. On Friday, the First Additional Sessions Judge (Special POCSO Court) of Palakkad district acquitted three accused in the case – V Madhu, Shibu and M Madhu – citing that the prosecution was not able to prove their involvement in the case.

Advocate N Rajesh, who had been defending the accused, was also made the chairman of the Child Welfare Committee when the trial was underway, adding to further speculations over the ruling party’s involvement in protecting the accused.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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