Sister Abhaya case: Former cop arraigned in Kerala’s longest murder probe
The former crime branch chief who led the initial probe has been accused of destroying evidence.india Updated: Jan 22, 2018 15:46 IST
Kerala’s longest murder probe took another turn on Monday with a CBI court ordering the investigating agency to arraign former crime branch Superintendent of Police K T Michael as an accused in the Sister Abhaya murder case for allegedly destroying evidence.
Sister Abhaya was found dead in the well of the Pius X Convent in Kottayam on March 27, 1992. The case was initially described as a suicide but later it turned out to be a murder and the CBI charge-sheeted two priests and a nun in 2008.
While hearing a plea filed by activist Jomon Puthanpurakkal the CBI court in Kochi ordered the agency to include former crime branch SP K T Michael in the list of accused for destroying evidences in the case.
“Even though the trial was dragged for many years I am sure truth will come out one day,” said Jomon who has been pursuing the case for last 25 years. However Abhaya’s family had disowned him saying he was not sincere and took up the case just for publicity.
Initially K T Michael probed the case and submitted a report that it was a clear case of suicide. Later her dress and diary were surrendered in a local court as case exhibits.
But these exhibits were later destroyed before the CBI took up the case. Now the court has had ordered the arraignment of the police officer as the fourth accused and asked him to appear before it on Feb 1. The CBI had charge-sheeted two priests (Father Thomas Kottur and Jose Puthrikeyil) and Sister Stephy in 2009.
In 2008 additional sub-inspector V V Augustine who had carried out the inquest on the body was found dead with his wrist cut near his house. Later the chemical examination reports of the vaginal swab and smear of the victim were found to be tampered with. The case has witnessed many twists and turns in 26 years and the trial was delayed inordinately.
According to the CBI charge-sheet on the fateful day Abhaya got up early for her studies and went to the kitchen where she had stumbled upon the two priests and one nun in a “compromising position” and had subsequently been attacked with an axe and dumped in the well.
Though the sensational case triggered enough ripples in the state the church stood with the accused saying “they were innocent”. There were allegations that a senior Congress leader from the state and a former judge of the Supreme Court had tried to scuttle the investigation.