Kerala

CBI takes over Walayar case

Protesters shout slogans at S.K. Pottakkad Corner in Kozhikode during a demonstration demanding justice for the Walayar sisters. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the sensational Walayar case, in which two minor sisters of a Dalit family had been found hanging in their home in mysterious circumstances on different dates in 2017.

The CBI will investigate the case afresh. Sources in CBI said that rape and murder charges would be investigated seriously.

The case, in which rape and murder were alleged, had sparked an outrage and invited national attention when a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) court here set free all the accused for want of evidence in October 2019.

The victims’ mother, with the support of an action forum formed by Dalit and human rights activists, approached the government seeking a reinvestigation, and later the High Court demanding an inquiry by the CBI. The government in January this year formed a special investigation team led by Superintendent of Police (Railways) R. Nishanthini to reinvestigate the case.

Amidst continuing protests by the victims’ mother under the banner of the Walayar Action Forum, the High Court on March 19 asked the CBI to take over the case. Ms. Nishanthini’s special investigation team handed over the case files to the CBI on March 26.

The CBI formally took over the case on Thursday by registering two separate cases before the Judicial First Class Magistrate at Alathur, who is in charge of POCSO court here. The cases will be transferred to the POCSO court here when the POCSO judge S. Muraleekrishna returns from leave after a week.

A CBI team led by DySP Ananthakrishnan will investigate the deaths of the siblings aged 13 and 9 separately.

The elder sister was found hanging in her house on January 13, 2017, and the younger one on March 4, 2017. There were allegations against the police for trying to help the accused, who were CPI(M) workers.

Pradeep Kumar, one of the five accused in the case, died by suicide in November last year. He was found hanging in his house at Cherthala.

The CBI, while approaching the case from dual angles of rape and death, has invoked the POCSO Act and the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 2:47:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cbi-takes-over-walayar-case/article34213994.ece

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