Even weeks after the key accused in the Jisha rape and murder case was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, the outrage over lapses in the investigation refuses to die down.
The rape and brutal murder of 30-year-old Dalit student Jisha in Perumbavoor in April had spurred public fury over the delay in investigation, over and above the horror of the crime itself. It was only 50 days after the crime that a newly constituted investigation team arrested the accused Ameerul Islam.
Though the mass uproar over the case died down, various human rights organisations in the state have come forward to seek a judicial commission enquiry against the first investigation team.
A committee of Janakiya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam, a Kochi-based human rights organisation, along with various activists and volunteers from social media groups together will submit a petition to the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on July 14.
The group has been demonstrating across the state since Saturday to collect signatures from the public to support their demand.
The group claims that the lapses were because of the police’s attitude towards the Dalit community and also alleges that the police tampered with the evidence on purpose. They demand that the officials be booked under SC/ST Act for the intentional lapses they caused.
Suja Bharathy, secretary of Janakiya Manushyavakasha Prasthanam (south zone) said, “I was one of the first people to visit Jisha’s house after the incident and it was not before six days that the police sealed the crime scene. From day one, the police have not missed one opportunity to tamper with crucial evidence. The government may claim that the lapses were unintentional, but we do not think so,” she alleges.
The group also suspects irregularities in Ameerul’s arrest. “The police have been giving conflicting statements ever since they arrested him. One day they’d say they have retrieved the murder weapon and then they would change their statement the other day. We do not even know where he was secretly questioned before the police recorded his arrest,” Suja points out.
35-year-old Sujith, a postal department employee who is part of the group says that the people tend to forget about earlier statements when new ones are reported. “We want to put an end to this, we do not want people and the government to forget about such a heinous crime,” he says.
The offline petition has received over 700 signatories so far.