Ammu Krishnan was found dead in the well of her husband’s residence in Kollam last September.

Six months after 19-year-old Kerala womans unnatural death mother alleges police laxity
news Police investigation Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 13:00

Six months after a 19-year-old woman was found dead in a well at her husband’s residence in Kerala, the state police have been criticised for their laxity into the investigation.

Ammu Krishnan was found dead, her body floating in the well of her husband, Sarathchandran’s house at Odanavattom, near Kottarakkara in Kollam district on September 2, 2016. Ammu’s mother, Vanaja received a call that evening informing her that her daughter had jumped into the well. “I don’t remember anything more. My neighbours attended the calls that followed,” Vanaja said. By the time Vanaja and her relatives reached the Taluk Hospital in Kottarakkara, where Ammu’s body had been shifted to, Sarathchandran and his relatives had left the place.

Case background

Ammu Krishnan had married Sarathchandran in December 2015. Vanaja a native of Mulavana, Kundara in Kollam said that her husband’s drinking problem had prompted her to marry her daughter at the age of 18. Speaking to The News Minute, Vanaja, a worker at a cashew nut factory, said that three days after Ammu was found dead, she was informed that the case had been closed by the police.

The Pooyapapally police station had earlier registered a case of unnatural death. Citing a lapse in investigation, Vanaja then approached Deputy Superintendent of police of Kottarakkara, Krishnakumar. “I was taken aback by the response of the police officer. He threatened to finish me off and to book my 12-year old son under the Goonda Act,” Vanaja alleged.

It was then Vanaja approached Fisheries Minister Mercykutty Amma with a plea to arrest the culprit. Three months after Ammu’s death, her husband Sarathchandran was arrested while her mother-in-law Usha was arrested two weeks later. DySP Krishnakumar, however, rejected the allegations. “I didn’t threaten her. I have arrested the accused and taken the investigation forward. The case was transferred to me after three months. It was being probed by the Sub Inspector and Circle Inspector of Pooyappally before that,” he said.  

But with both Sarathchandran and Usha now out on bail, Vanaja alleges that the police are attempting to sabotage the case. Recalling her last moments with Ammu, Vanaja says her daughter had visited her just a day before her death. “She was happy and there seemed to be no issues. We were told that Sarathchandran tried to rescue her by jumping into the well. But he suffered no injuries and this made me suspicious,” Vanaja said. She also alleged that Usha had beaten Ammu on one occasion and was rude to her.

Advocate Prathapan who offered advice to Vanaja stated that prima facie there was evidence to suspect that it was not a case of suicide. “A proper investigation in the case has not been done,” he alleged.

“There were many injuries on Ammu Krishnan’s body which were not normal in case someone jumps into a well,” said Sreekala, a member of Gramapanchayat Kundara. Sreekala had been present when the body was examined at the Taluk Hospital Kottarakkara. Advocate Renjith, who helped Vanaja to prepare a complaint said that the circumstances of the death were suspicious. “We can’t jump into any conclusion. But some information given by her husband’s relatives lack authenticity,” he said.


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