Five days after a 30-year-old Dalit law student was allegedly raped and brutally murdered in Perumbavoor in Kerala, the state police are yet to make its first arrest in the case, despite massive protests over the slow pace of police investigation. Earlier on Tuesday, two men were detained by the police in connection to the case.
Kochi Range IG Mahipal Yadav later on Tuesday said that one of the suspects were seen going to the victim's residence.
The Additional Chief Secretary of the state has also sought a report on the matter from the district collector.
The incident has triggered state-wide protests on the streets and social media, and is a grim reminder of the protests that followed the December 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape in Delhi.
The case is as brutal as the Nirbhaya case. A Mathrubhumi report said that the police had evidence that the attackers inserted a sharp weapon in her genitals.
Following massive media scrutiny and criticism from the opposition and with elections just around the corner, CM Oommen Chandy on Tuesday spoke about the incident and assured strict action against the perpetrators. He said that the investigation has been handed over to Central Zone IG.
Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennitala will also be visiting the family.
Facts of the case
Media reports suggest that the victim was found in a pool of blood at her one-room residence by her mother when she returned home at 8 30PM on April 28.
According to police sources, the autopsy report shows that the victimsâ€™ intestines were ripped out and she had 30 wounds on her as she was attacked with sharp objects including two deep stab wounds on the chest. She is said to have been killed on April 28 between 2 PM-5PM.
According to NDTV , the victim was last seen by neighbours when she went out to fill water near her house in the afternoon. The neighbours reportedly did not hear any screams from her. The same report adds that the victimâ€™s mother was admitted to hospital after police found her mentally unstable.
Perumbavoor DySP Anil Kumar who was heading the investigations until Tuesday, had earlier told The News Minute that the post-mortem report did not confirm rape but only suggests sexual assault.
India Today reported that friends of the victim came to know about the incident only two days after it was reported in a local newspaper. The report said that they suspected that the perpetrator(s) were inside the victimâ€™s house for a long time given the extent of assault.
"It was a brutal murder. There were stab injuries on her body. We suspect she was subjected to smothering and strangulation," Ernakulam Range IG Mahipal Yadav told PTI.
Few regional media reports state that police were suspecting the perpetrators to be migrant labourers working in the area.
Manoroma reported that the victimâ€™s sister suspected it to be an act of revenge by some relatives with whom she had a scuffle earlier that day, and they would have had prior information about when the victim would be alone.
The Mathrubhumi report suggested that the victim could have been strangled with the help of a shawl before she was killed and raped. The report also dismissed the theory of the incident being committed by mentally unstable persons.