Minister visits rape victim’s mother; probe team head changed

Kochi, PTI | Updated : 06 May 2016, 08:49 AM

Amid growing cries seeking justice for the victim of Kerala’s sensational rape and murder, the state government today asserted the culprits would be brought to justice even as the chief investigating officer in the case was removed.

“It is a serious case. It is a time taking investigation.  Scientific evidences are required. There are no lapses and efforts are being done to nab the real culprits through a scientific probe,” Home Minister Chennithala told a meet-the-press here.

In a related development, Chief Investigating officer DySP Anil Kumar was removed and A B Jijimon appointed to head the team probing the rape and brutal murder of the 30-year-old Dalit law student at her home in Perumbavoor on April 28.

Chennithala said the shake-up was done as Jijimon has a better understanding of Perumbavoor area.

As the incident is becoming a campaign material for the May 16 assembly polls with both ruling UDF and rival LDF trading charges over ensuring safety of women, police said Kumar would continue in the probe team, which is under supervision of ADGP Padmakumar and IG Ernakulam Mahipal Yadav.

Union Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot visited Perumbavoor and held discussions with officials. Gehlot visited the victim’s mother at the Taluk hospital in Perumbavoor where she is undergoing treatment and assured her that the government would ensure that the family gets justice.

He kept the media at bay, saying as the Model Code of Conduct was in place due to the May 16 Assembly elections in Kerala, he would not make any statement.

The minister, who held meetings with investigating officials, said he had been deputed by the Rajya Sabha and the report he prepared about the incident would be tabled in the the Upper House tomorrow.

National Women’s Commission chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam also visited the victim’s mother and said, “The whole country is shocked that such a brutality has taken place.”

Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia expressed concern over the delay in arresting culprits and said if family wants, he will push for a CBI probe into the gruesome incident.

“This is highly shocking,” Punia told PTI after visiting the victim’s mother and her house in Perumbavoor and asked the Kerala police to immediately arrest the culprits who committed the heinous murder.

Noting that “Kerala has never been known for this kind of brutality as we see in North India including New Delhi”, Punia said there has been “some flaw” in implementing the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 enacted against the backdrop of Delhi gangrape incident in Kerala in its letter and spirit.

“...It is a matter of concern that the culprits have not been arrested so far. Whatever efforts have been taken, that has not reflected in the arrest of the culprits,” said Punia.

He said police have informed him they have interrogated a number of people in connection with the incident.

“About 125 people have been interrogated, questioned, and 10 very intensely questioned and they are hopeful that something would come out and the culprit would be arrested within next one or two days,” he said.

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