Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday stated that his government would support a CBI probe into the death of the two Dalit sisters at Walayar, provided the parents move court. This comes after the victim’s mother reiterated her allegations that CPI(M) workers were behind the deaths of the two girls.
The Chief Minister made the statement while responding to a question posed to him during zero hour on the floor of the Kerala Assembly.
“The state government will be putting forth fresh arguments while going for an appeal, and if the family of the victims approach the court demanding a CBI investigation, the prosecution will support it. The message has already been conveyed to the mother when she visited my office recently,” said Pinarayi on the floor of the assembly. He was responding to clarifications sought by Congress legislator VT Balram during zero hour.
Balram, on the same day before zero hour, was denied permission by the Speaker of the assembly, P Sreeramakrishnan, to move an adjournment motion over the issue, which led to a walkout by the Congress legislators.
Balram alleged that there were links between the accused CPI(M) workers and the Palakkad Child Welfare Committee (CWC) chairman Rajesh who later became their counsel. "Advocate Rajesh was the CWC chairman when these incidents happened. He has not been excluded from the post but was only restrained for some time. There are deliberate efforts to sabotage the case," alleged the Congress legislator adding that the appointment of Rajesh to the CWC was an effort to dilute the case.
The CM in response stated that the appointments to the CWC were legal. Responding to the death of Praveen who was interrogated for supposed connections to the case, Vijayan said, “It was quite natural for the police to closely observe and interrogate residents while investigating the death of the girls. Praveen, a friend of the main accused, committed suicide on April 25, 2017, after being questioned by police and fearing that he would also be included in the list of accused.” The opposition has alleged that Praveen was tortured by the police.
The case surfaced in January 2017, when a 13-year-old girl's body was found by her nine-year-old sister in her house at a village in Palakkad district. Two months later, the younger girl was also found dead in her home in similar circumstances.
Though the police arrested five persons including a juvenile, the accused were let off recently by a court for want of evidence as the prosecution failed to prove the case against them.