In a press conference held in Thiruvananthapuram, Liga's sister Ilze said that the Kerala police did not take their complaint seriously initially.

Kerala cops were callous Sister of Latvian woman rubbishes suicide theory
news Death Monday, April 23, 2018 - 13:16

It's been two days since a decomposed body, said to be that of the missing Latvian woman from Ireland, Liga Skromane, was recovered from Thiruvallam in Thiruvananthapuram. The body was found 38 days after Liga went missing, and now, her sister Ilze Skromane has accused the police of laxity. 

Speaking at a press meet held in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, Ilze accused the police of being callous. 

"The crucial time, the first 24 hours, in finding my sister was wasted due to the government system’s callous attitude," Ilze said, adding that the police did not take her complaint seriously. 

"We were made to run here and there. They were making us comfortable saying that she will come back in 24 hours,” Ilze alleged. 

Photo by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair

Ilze, along with Liga's husband, Andrew, negated media reports that quoted police sources as saying that there was poison in Liga's body and that she might have committed suicide. 

"Nobody, on their own, can reach the spot where her body was found. She was wearing a cloth which did not belong to her and the position of the body doesn’t seem to indicate that the person has committed suicide,"  Ilze told reporters. 

Ilze alleged that Liga had been murdered and that it was not a suicide. Meanwhile, Aswathy Jwala, who has been assisting Ilze from the first day of their search, accused the police of washing their hands off the responsibility of conducting the investigation. According to Aswathy, the police asked Ilze and her to collect information like CCTV footage and hand it over to them instead of doing it themselves. 

“When such foreign tourists come and land in trouble, government should wake up and act seriously. Ilze won’t talk openly, but I have been with her and I know how she was made to run here and there,” Aswathy said. 

The body, which is believed to be that of Liga Skromane, who had gone missing on March 14 from an ayurvedic centre in Pothencode, was found in a secluded spot not far away from Kovalam beach on Friday evening. 

On March 14, Liga had hired an autorickshaw from Pothencode to reach Kovalam. She went missing after this. Liga was suffering from depression owing to a traumatic experience.

Following her disappearance, her partner Andrew Jordan too arrived from Dublin.

Both Ilze and Jordan had been conducting searches on their own, parallel to the police investigation. A Special Investigation Team was formed 10 days after Liga went missing. The family has alleged that even the Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan, was indifferent to them when they attempted to meet him.

Liga's sister Ilze Skromane and partner Andrew Jordan identified the body from the clothes. 

'An isolated incident'

Even as concerns over the security of foreign travelers in Kerala are being raised, the tourism department argued that Liga's case was an isolated incident. 

P Balakiran, the director of Kerala Tourism, said that Liga’s case does not mean that tourists are unsafe in Kerala.

“Annually, 11 lakh foreign tourists and 1.64 core domestic tourists visit Kerala. So, one or two incidents which happened in the past can be seen as isolated cases,” the director said. 

“In Liga’s case, we are worried and have extended as much help as we can,” Balakiran claimed. 

Investigation

The Kerala Police said on Sunday night that a preliminary inquiry into Liga's death does not suggest any foul play.

"There are no injuries to her body parts. But, the exact reason of the death can be established only after the chemical analysis report comes," said the police in a statement.

Even though Ilze and Andrew identified the body, the police are now waiting for the DNA test results for confirmation.

The autopsy was conducted on Saturday at the government medical college hospital in Thiruvananthapuram and the body has been kept in its mortuary.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5,00,000 to Liga's family and the Department of Kerala Tourism has informed Ilze that the state government would bear the expenses of transporting the body to their home country.

 

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