The mother has asked why the police have recorded her statement at a time when the Court is still hearing the government’s affidavit on reinvestigation and retrial in the case.

A representative generic image showing the silhouette of two girls against a stylised background
news Walayar case Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 19:16

The mother of the two minor girls in Walayar who were allegedly raped and murdered has accused the police of incorrectly recording and manipulating her statement. On October 19, the Kerala High Court had considered the government's affidavit that it does not object to a retrial and a reinvestigation in the case. The High Court has postponed the case to November 9. It is against this backdrop that two women police personnel, who said that they were from the Women's Cell of the Palakkad police, recorded a statement of the mother on October 19.

"The statement was taken without any direction from any of the senior officials or from the court. The statement was written by the police in a manner so as to portray the deaths as suicides. The mother told the police officials that her elder daughter was killed, but in the statement, it was written that she had died," Marson, who leads the Walayar Justice Forum, told TNM.

“The younger child was seen with her legs forcibly pushed down, with the lungi hanging from the roof, tied around her neck and its one end pushed into her mouth. But the statement says she was seen with a cloth tied around her neck. The mother has also asked why officials from the office of the Deputy Inspector of Police (DySP) would try to save some accused persons who are daily-wage labourers, and also expressed doubt over the involvement of a sixth accused, who perhaps enjoys some top position. However, the police officials never wrote down that statement. There is no date, name or any other details, like the designation, on the statement. When we inquired at the Superintendent of Police’s office through a journalist, the SP said that he wasn't aware of any direction given to record the statement, " Marson added.

The mother doesn't know how to read or write and hence asked for a photograph of the statement. Later, she developed some doubts and showed it to Marson, which is when she realised that the statement had been wrongly written down.   

"Only after I sent the photo of the statement taken on my phone to Marson, I realised that they had made a lot of changes in the statement. I didn't know that so many changes would be made. But I became suspicious as to why a statement should be recorded now. However, when they read out the statement to get it signed by me, they read out the exact things which I told them. But I insisted on taking a photo," the mother told TNM.   

The parents have planned to lodge a complaint at the Walayar police station. "They should tell us the purpose of recording the statement at this time," she added.

Meanwhile, as Sunday marked one year since a POCSO court in Kerala acquitted all the accused in the case of the alleged rape and murder of the Walayar sisters, the parents of the two girls started a hunger strike by lighting a lamp in the shed near their house where the kids were found dead. 

The stepfather of the children has alleged that police officers who probed the case had compelled him to say that he had committed the crime. "They told me that many fathers used to do this. If I give the statement agreeing that I did the crime, they promised that they would help me come out of it," he alleged.

However, Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, AK Balan said that parents of the children are protesting due to a misunderstanding.

"I don't understand why they are protesting now. The case is under consideration of the court. So why are they protesting? If they were misled by someone, they should withdraw the protest," the Minister said.

On October 25, last year, a POCSO court in Palakkad had acquitted the five accused in the case. A few days later, on October 31, the parents of the girls met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking a CBI probe.

"The Chief Minister had assured us that the erring investigating officers in the case would be punished. But DySP Sojan has been promoted as Superintendent of Police, while Sub-Inspector Chacko (the other investigating officer in the case) has been promoted as Circle Inspector. Now, Sojan's name is in the list of officers to be conferred with IPS rank. Hence, the hunger strike protest has been named from Vidhi Dinam to Chathi Dinam (from the day the verdict was announced to the day assurance was given),” Marson added.

The elder daughter was found hanging on January 13, 2017, and the younger one was found hanging in the same shed, days later, on March 4. The younger one had testified seeing her sister’s killers. 

A Judicial Commission appointed by the government submitted a report in April that there were lapses during the trial of the case. The High Court in March had ordered the arrest of the four acquitted accused persons in the case. This was on a plea filed by the government and the mother.

Also watch TNM's documentary on how the probe in the case was botched up:

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