Mother of Walayar sisters writes to Kerala CM against promotion of cop who botched case

The case pertains to the alleged murder and rape of two Dalit girls – a 13-year-old and a nine-year-old – at Walayar in Palakkad district in 2017.
Silhouette of two girls
Silhouette of two girls
Written by:

Following the recent promotion of Kerala Police officer MJ Sojan as Superintendent of Police, the mother of Walayar sisters has written a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressing her displeasure over the move. MJ Sojan was the investigating officer of the Walayar case when he was a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP).

The case pertains to the alleged murder and rape of two girls – a 13-year-old and a nine-year-old – at Walayar in Palakkad district in 2017. Four out of the five accused in the case were acquitted by the court, following a shoddy probe. The family of the sisters and the forums which had raised their voice against the acquittal of the accused men, have been repeatedly saying that police officers including MJ Sojan had not conducted a fair probe.

The police officer had reportedly even made derogatory remarks about the girls saying that they “enjoyed” sexual abuse.

MJ Sojan is at present Superintendent of Police at the Crime Branch central unit 2 in Ernakulam. According to sources, he took charge a week back. The central units handle complicated and sensitive cases.

In the letter sent to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, the children’s mother has asked him to revoke the promotion.

“It has been seen that there is a laxity in the measures taken by the government against the acquittal of the accused in the case. It has been seen that the demands raised by me and groups like Justice for Wayalar Kids Forum, have been ignored,” said the woman.

She added, “Our first demand was to charge a case against officials including DySP Sojan who sabotaged the case. But it has been known from news reports that this officer has been promoted as Superintendent of Police. This is the officer who told the media that my children who are minors, were sexually harassed with their consent.”

She also added that the trial court itself stated that there were serious lapses in the probe; the government should have suspended the investigating officer and should have booked a case against him under Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

“But without doing that, through protecting that officer and giving him promotion can only be seen as a government’s challenge towards people. I request to change this decision,” the children’s mother wrote.

She also noted that such a letter is being written considering the prevailing COVID-19 situation, which has certain limitations for holding protests and that she will be forced to start a protest if there are no favourable responses.

Following the massive public outcry after the acquittal of the accused men, the state government in November 2019, started a judicial probe in the matter. Former Vigilance Tribunal judge S Haneefa, was appointed to probe the case.

In January this year, the members of Justice for Walayar Kids Forum had organised a protest march from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram. The group had also resorted to hunger strike in Thiruvananthapuram following the march, seeking justice for the children.


Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute