CBI to submit evidence leading to arrests in Abhaya murder

November 26th, 2008 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi (Kerala), Nov 26 (IANS) The Kerala High Court Wednesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file all evidence that led to the arrest of two priests and a nun in the Sister Abhaya murder case. Justice R. Basanth, while hearing the three accused persons’ plea that the CBI illegally arrested them, asked the officials to separately file Thursday all the evidences in sequential format, highlighting the old and new evidences gathered against the three accused before and after their arrest.

Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel, was found dead in the well of the Kottayam convent March 27, 1992.

On Nov 19 this year, the 13th team of the CBI set up to probe the case - after 12 earlier teams failed - arrested Father Jose Putarika, 56, a former Malayalam professor at a Kottayam college where Abhaya studied; Father Thomas Kottor, 61, the Diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam; and Sister Seffi, who was a resident of the convent when the incident took place.

Meanwhile, post-mortem examination was conducted on the body of former assistant sub-inspector of police V.V. Augustine, the official who had prepared the inquest report of Abhaya. He was found dead with wrists slit near his home at Kottayam Tuesday.

In a suicide note recovered Tuesday by the police, Augustine said the CBI was responsible for his death.

The post-mortem examination report Wednesday said that Augustine died after he slashed his wrist and also consumed poison.

The body has been handed over to his relatives and the funeral has been fixed for Thursday.

The CBI, however, got a relief when the court asked it to ignore the Augustine note that was found blaming it and asked the agency to ensure that such incidents do not affect the investigation in the case.

In a related development, Joemon Puthenpurackal, who right from the time of Abhaya’s death pursued the case by forming an action council, told reporters in the capital city that the role of then crime branch deputy inspector general of police K.J. Joseph in the case should be probed.

Joseph wrote in a leading Malayalam daily published Wednesday that after his investigation into Abhaya suicide, he did not find anything suspicious in the manner in which the three arrested people had acted.

Joseph retired as the director general of police in 2005 and is considered an upright officer and a stickler for rules.

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