The verdict from a court in Palakkad, Kerala, on October 27, 2019 still sends shivers throughout the state of Kerala as it acquitted three of the accused, V Madhu, N Shibu and Madhu, in the Walayar rape case where two minor Dalit sisters of 13 and 9 were raped and murdered. This was a case under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offencces Act , 2012). The elder girl was found hanging dead in their tiny house in Attapplly area of Walayar, the border between Palakkad and Coimbatore, districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu on January 12, 2017. Walayar Police had arrested 10 people in this connection but they were taken out from the Police Station by the local CPM leaders and a CPM Member of Panchayat. After hardly couple of months the younger one was seen dead in the same manner on March 4. Both deaths were written off by the police as mere suicides. Five were arrested only on the basis of the re-investigation.
Earier the case was registered under Section 174 of IPC for unnatural death. Again, police did not comply with the requirement of separate FIRs for every Sections, as various cases had arose inlcuding POCSO. The police had given a wrong post mortem number before the court. Police Surgeon Dr. P.B. Gujral had reported in his post mortem report that the younger girl had underwent unnatural sex. Forensic Surgeon had incorporated the pictures of younger girl's injured anus. Still prosecution simplified these matters. Police did not present the witnesses or evidences before the court. In fact, the mother, father and his friend were witnesses who had given witness account. But the CPM Area Secretary Subhash Chandra Bose came out with the statement that the accused had nothing to do with the Walayar rape and murders.
This attitude of the CPM speaks volumes about the way the case was sabotaged, because, the accused are allegedly CPM activists.
Another shocking part of the story is the pro-criminal action of the Chairman of the Child Welfare Commitee, the body established by the state government. Adv. Rajesh appeared in the court for Pradeep, the third accused. He appeared for the POCSO case accused twice and it turned controversial. Official delegation of Social Justice Department came to investigate into the matter, says Proseccutor Jalaja Madhavan. Her statement was recorded and her signature was not asked for. She was assigned as the prosecctor for only three months and removed without communicating the faults. Rajesh resigned from the position only after his actions were severely criticised.
The several posts and pictures in the social media make it clear that the accued are DYFI workers. Otherwise why did CPM leaders intervene to take them out of the police station?
Despite the rule that the investigation officers for the atrocities against SC/ST sections should not be lower than DySP rank, here the case was handled by Circle Inspector and Sub Inspectors. The case was to be handled by a court in Mannarkkat, near Palakkad, designated for ST/SC cases; but it is alleged that it was done by POCSO court with no power for it. Moreover, police did not present proper evidences hence the CPM sympathisers protection was ensured.
The mother of the girls had told the media that the accused were protected by the "sickle party", a colloquial Malayalam reference to CPM, in view of the party symbol of sickle and hammer. Apparently the wooden bar of the hut-like house structure was double the height of the girls whicch evidence that self hanging was impossible for them.
BJP leader K. Surendran has alleged that CM Pinarayi Vijayan and SC/ST Welfare Minister A.K. Balan messed up the case for protecting their comrades. Another leader Shobha Surendran asked the CM-in-charge of the home ministry to apologise to the Kerala's motherhood for the whole episode.
The worst sort of statement came from a police officer-in-charge of the investigation. He said that the 9 years old girl and the culprit had sex on the basis of mutual agreement.
Chacko, a former member of the investigation team, told the media that he had insisted on counseling for the younger girl after the death of the elder one. But her mother did not bring her for it. If it had taken place, her death could have averted. He stood for counseling because the girl told about seeing some masked men around her house on the day of her elder sister's death. Now, the question arises as to why mother shied away from her daughter's counselling. BJP leaders say, she was under threat from obvious quarters.
Now, the DIG says the Police intends to appeal against the court verdict. But, the entire opposition, especially BJP, demands CBI enquiry. BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan inaugurated a 100 hour hunger strike in Walayar. Prominent BJP leaders participate in it. Kummanm observes 24 hour long hunger strike before the state secretariat on November 1, the state formmation day. Hundreds of protests take place throughout the state under BJP's leadership.
BJP president Adv. P.S. Sreedharan Pillai reported the issue before National Child Rights Commission. And, the Commission has come to Kerala to visit the family of the victims for collecting the reports.
As an insult to the injury the so-called intellectuals of Kerala who always look at "North" and demand PM Modi's resignation for every silly matters taking place even in the Congress-ruled states, are now mum. They prove that they always bark and shout for their CPM masters' anti-RSS, anti-BJP, anti-Hindutwa and anti-nationalistic activities. Truth and logic are alien to them. Their political serfdom is beyond rhyme or reason.
The right thinking people do not take the Pinarayi regime's promise of re-investigation seriously, because, it is the investigation by the same Kerala police. They believe that a CBI enquiry is the only way to book the real culprits.