Even as the High Court awaits the State government’s response to the plea for a fresh probe into the suicide of two girls in Kozhikode, way back in 1996, two other deaths seem to hold the key to further investigations. Petitioner N.K. Abdul Azeez of Kozhikode claims that the two girls were victims of the infamous ice-cream parlour sex racket and that the two guards who had seen the girls leave an apartment complex too had died mysteriously.
Former Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose, who was the Inspector General of Police, Northern Range, in 1996, recalls meeting the parents of a victim and referring their complaint to the Nadakavu police.
He had also reviewed the case as the DGP in 2011 when there was a demand for a re-probe and had asked Jaison K. Abraham, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Thamarassery, to look into it. Mr. Abraham had reported that there was no need for another probe as it was investigated once.
But Mr. Punnoose told The Hindu, “The deaths of the watchmen were not investigated in connection with the suicides, as much as I can recollect.”
According to the petitioner, the girls had visited PVS Apartments on YMCA Crossroads before ending their lives on the railway track. He claims that the girls were drugged earlier and their photographs taken to subject them to sexual abuse and that they were asked to collect the photographs from PVS Apartments.
“The watchmen Rajan and Balakrishnan saw these two girls, along with another girl, going to the apartment around 2.30 p.m. on that day and leaving in tears later. Balakrishnan was killed later in a ‘hit-and-run’ accident and Rajan was reported to have committed suicide by hanging. The police are yet to trace the vehicle involved in Balakrishnan’s accident,” said Mr. Azeez.
An officer, who was part of the team which investigated the case, insists that the police closed it as a case of suicide only because the post-mortem reports proved that the girls were not sexually abused. But K.Ajitha of Anweshi, the rights organisation that took up the case, said that there was a lot of confusion regarding the post-mortem report.
“First, the police said the post-mortem was held at Beach Hospital. But later they claimed it was held at Kozhikode Medical College. While there are documents showing the post-mortem of one being done at the Medical College, no such record is available for the other,’’ said Ms. Ajitha.
Mr. Azeez too has failed to get a copy of the post-mortem report despite invoking the RTI Act.
Mr. Azeez moved the High Court after his petition filed before the Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate Court IV was dismissed. On March 5, T. Asaf Ali, Director General of Prosecution, sought time to file a reply.