Kerala govt admits lapses in Walayar probe, tells HC it’s ready to reinvestigate

The state, which submitted appeals with the parents of the victims against a trial court order acquitting the accused, sought for an early hearing.
Walayar girls rep pic
Walayar girls rep pic
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Admitting that there were lapses in the investigation of the alleged rape and murder of two minor girls in Walayar in 2017, the Kerala government informed the High Court that it was ready to reinvestigate the case. The state sought an early hearing of the appeal against the acquittal of the accused by a trial court earlier, reports The Hindu. The appeal will now be considered on November 9, said the High Court.

The mother of the Walayar girls — sisters aged 11 and nine — and the state have submitted appeals against the verdict of the trial court in November last year. The case was considered in March this year after which the coronavirus outbreak hit the state.

Four of the five accused were acquitted of the charges by the trial court last year, which triggered a lot of protests against the police investigation. Protestors wanted the investigating officer in the case MJ Sojan to be punished. However, even as the case got delayed, Sojan was promoted from Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) to Superintendent in June. This gave rise to more protests and the family had once again hit the streets, asking for justice, along with supporters.

On October 9, parents of the Walayar girls staged a protest in front of the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram. They have been living like they were dead, the parents told TNM, amid the satyagraha. They had wanted SP Sojan removed, a reinvestigation of the case and action taken against all officers who were part of the initial investigation.

The state had appointed a judicial commission to investigate the matter and the latter had reported that the prosecution failed to make use of the proof gathered. It said that lapses on the part of the prosecutors during the trial had resulted in the acquittal of the accused.

PK Haneefa, who headed the commission, also recommended action against the police for poor investigation.

Watch: Rape, death and injustice: How the Walayar sisters’ cases were botched up

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