Dramatic scenes unfolded at the Thrissur Fast Track Court on Friday after Judge K. Raveendra Babu delivered the verdict of the Soumya rape and murder case.
When Govindachamy, the convict, was taken out of the court, a sandal was thrown at him. A huge crowd that was held back by security personnel outside the premises of the court shouted in anger when a police van drove him away. The crowd pelted stones at the van. There were loud boos from the crowd when the defence lawyer left the court complex.
Youth Congress, Democratic Youth Federation of India and Bharatiya Yuva Morcha activists took out marches outside the premises of the court. Members of many organisations were seen distributing sweets, expressing happiness over the vedict.
Soumya’s mother broke down when the court delivered the verdict. “Of course, it brings relief. But nothing can compensate for the loss of my daughter,” she told mediapersons.
Soumya's brother piped up, “The verdict should be a message to society. No other girl should suffer like my sister.”
Her father, who stood alone at a corner of the compound, could not control his anger. “The man who killed my daughter should be crushed to pieces. I have never seen him. People tell me that he has had his left hand amputated. Shall I take a look when he is taken out of the court?” he asked.
When he proceeded to the entrance of the court complex, a civil police officer blocked him.
Soumya’s mother walked up to the investigation team and expressed gratitude. She could not restrain her emotions when she talked to senior civil police officer Mohammed Ashraf, civil police officers Sabu Thomas, K. A. Rasheeda, Habeeb and Anil, who had been members of the investigation team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police V. Radhakrishnan Nair.
The team had taken over the case on February 8 after preliminary investigation by Chelakkara Circle Inspector K. A. Sasidharan. On April 19, Mr. Radhakrishnan Nair had filed a chargesheet against Govindachamy before Wadakkanchery First Class Judicial Magistrate Court.
“The toughest job I did was to investigate the calls received on Soumya’s cell phone on February 1 between 4 p.m. and 8-30 p.m. After 8-30 p.m., the cell phone was found switched off,” Mr. Ashraf said.
The last call she received was from Anoop, who was supposed to meet her family the next day and ask her hand in marriage.
Anoop had told the court that she informed him in her last call that she had seen a man, who looked like a native of Tamil Nadu, eyeing her up.
“I will call you back in 10 minutes,” she told Anoop. Those were, perhaps, her last words.