In a statement released to the media on Tuesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed Soumya - who was raped and killed in February 2011- as a daughter of the state and asserted that the government would do everything possible to ensure that she received justice.
The Chief Minister was visiting Sumathi, Soumya’s mother, in the wake of the Supreme Court order commuting Soumya’s rapist Govindachamy’s death sentence to life imprisonment.
Pinarayi stated that such incidents should not be allowed to recur and that the LDF government had put necessary measures in place to prevent similar crimes.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by several cabinet colleagues including J Mercykutty Amma and KT Jaleel ,as well as MLA PK Sasi and state DGP Loknath Behera.
Twenty-three-year-old Soumya – who worked as a salesgirl – was returning home by the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train on February 1, 2011.
One-handed Govindachamy entered the ladies’ compartment where she was, and robbed and attacked her. Soumya’s body was later found in the forests near the Vallathol railway station.
The prosecution’s case was that Govindachamy pushed her off the train, took her to the wooded area, and then raped and murdered her.
Govindachamy, then 30, was convicted of rape and murder on October 31, 2011, and sentenced in November by a Thrissur fast-track court.
The court ruled that the case was fit to be called as the rarest of rare and pronounced capital punishment. The Kerala High Court subsequently upheld the death sentence to Govindachamy.
The Supreme Court, however, held that the prosecution could not prove whether Govindachamy had pushed Soumya off the train or if she fell off. Hence, it held that he was not guilty of murder, and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.