Union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday said political pressure to influence the investigation into the rape and murder of a Dalit law student in Kerala’s Perumbavoor cannot be ruled out. She cited a report by the National Commission for Women (NCW), accusing the local police and administration of botching the investigation under “undue influence”.
Interacting with media at the Indian Women’s Press Corps, the minister quoted the NCW report to flag the slip-ups in the investigation, which includes contamination of the crime scene and inaction against the suspects named by the victim’s family.
The minister said a three-member NCW delegation led by chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam has also met the chief election commissioner to flag their concerns about the accuracy of the probe.
The NCW, in its report to the ministry, said: “The committee is of the view that as the state of Kerala is going to elections, the administration and police are functioning under some undue influence.”
The NCW said the victim’s family claimed the police did not act on their complaints against threats from neighbours.
“The mother of the victim has on different occasions fought with the local panchayat leader’s brother-in-law who belongs to the Left Front. The police ignored to inquire and interrogate the man in question,” the report added.