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Walayar Rape case: Parents of victims meet Kerala CM, assured of support if they move for CBI probe

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has reportedly told the parents of the Walayar sisters that while it is practically not possible for the Kerala government to seek a CBI probe in the case, the government will not oppose the same if the parents move a petition demanding it.

Alleging justice had been denied, the parents of the two minor Dalit sisters who were raped and killed at Walayar in Palakad met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday and pressed for a CBI inquiry into the murders. Last Friday, a POCSO court in Kerala had acquitted all three accused in the case.

After the meeting, the mother of the victim told the media, “CM has assured all support to us. We have sought a CBI probe into the case. CM said that the government will not challenge any petition in the court seeking a CBI probe in this case. No other family should go through this trauma anymore. Our children must get justice,” she said.

As per reports, the CM has told the parents that while it is practically not possible for the Kerala government to seek a CBI probe in the case, the government will not oppose the same if the parents move a petition for it.

The mother of the victims has earlier expressed apprehension in the probe saying that she does not trust the police officers probing the case. “They collected documents and evidence during each phase of the investigation but nothing happened. We don’t have any evidence now. The investigation should be conducted in a way that serves justice to our daughters”, she had said.

Yesterday, after facing massive outrage over the handling of Walayar Rape case, the Kerala government had decided to file an appeal against the court order acquitting the accused in the Walayar rape case. In the high-level meeting chaired by Pinarayi, it was also decided to replace the public prosecutor.

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 in 2017.

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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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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