Sister Abhaya case:CBI files chargesheet against nun, others

Last Updated: Friday, July 17, 2009 - 19:29

Kochi: Nineteen years after the murder of
Sister Abhaya in a Kerala convent, the CBI on Friday filed a
chargesheet against two Christian priests and a nun for the
crime.

The chargesheet was filed in Chief Judicial Magistrate
Ernakulam against the three -- Father Thomas Kottoor, Father
Thomas Poothrikkayil and Sister Sephy -- under section 302
(murder), section 201 (destruction of evidence) and 499
(defamation).

All the three were arrested on November 19 last year in
the case that shocked Kerala after the 21-year-old sister was
found dead in a well in St Pius convent in Kottayam on 27
March, 1992.

According to the CBI chargesheet, investigation revealed
that the chappals and veil of the victim had been found
scattered in the kitchen and wash area on the Cellar Floor of
the Convent.

The accused Sister was the sole occupant of the Cellar
Floor on the night when the crime took place and the well,
where the dead body of Sister Abhaya had been found, was at a
hearing distance from the room occupied.

The probe also revealsed that two male accused were in
the habit of making nocturnal visits to the Convent Hostel and
"were known to be close to another female accused", the
chargesheet said.

Giving further details, the CBI said that on the morning
of March 27, 1992, Sister Abhaya went down from her first
floor room to the kitchen for taking water from the fridge
when she saw the accused in suspicious circumstances.

The two male accused were her teachers in the BCM
College, Kottayam. Fearing that Sister Abhaya might speak to
others about what she saw, the three accused thought of
killing her, a CBI spokesperson said here.

She was hit on the head with a blunt weapon as a result
of which, she became unconscious and fell down. Not knowing as
to how to dispose of the body of Sister Abhaya, the accused
tried to give it a colour of suicide by throwing the body from
the fifth floor of the convent.

However, they found it difficult to do that and later
threw her in the well, the spokesperson said, adding the probe
revealed that attempts were made to hush up the matter by
making it appear as a case of suicide.

The chargesheet also mentions the name of Kerala
Assistant Police Inspector V V Augustine as an accused.
However, the charges against him were dropped after he was
found dead on November 25 last year.

The CBI alleged that he had failed to take suspected
weapon of offence into his custody, tampered with the vital
evidence, did not make a proper Inquest and forged the
signatures of the witnesses on the Inquest Report. PTI SKL
KAD

The chargesheet cites 133 witnesses, 67 documents and
seven material objects.

The local police, which first investigated the matter,
could not bring out any evidence to prove the murder. The case
was transferred to the Kerala Crime Branch on April 7, 1992
which claimed that Abhaya had committed suicide.

In the meantime, the Action Council, constituted for
justice for Sister Abhaya, moved the Kerala High Court which
directed the CBI to investigate the matter on March 29, 1993.

The CBI had earlier filed three closure reports which
were rejected by the High Court.

After its closure report was rejected again, the CBI
continued its investigation and resorted to scientific methods
including polygraph test, brain mapping test, brain finger
printing test and narco analysis, which pointed the needle of
suspicion to the three chargesheeted persons.

Sustained investigation, focusing on the movements of
the accused and their conduct before and after the crime,
resulted in unearthing vital evidence.

Bureau Report




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