In Kerala Student's Unsolved Case, 2 Differing Sketches - For One Rapist

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In Kerala Student's Unsolved Case, 2 Differing Sketches - For One Rapist

Massive protests had erupted in Kerala after the brutal rape and murder of the law student. (File photo)


Thiruvananthapuram: 

Highlights

  1. Dalit law student raped and killed a month ago in Perumbavoor
  2. No big leads, admits state's new police chief
  3. Adding to confusion, 2 sketches of same suspect differ vastly
When a Dalit student was found raped and killed in her home in Kerala, her intestines pulled out, her body battered and marked by a sharp instrument, the Left aggressively said the government owed the people an explanation.

That was a month ago. Kerala has since voted the Left into power, and the new government of Pinarayi Vijayan has appointed a new chief for the state's police force.

But the suspect is yet to be found.

"Everything from the postmortem to cremation was wrong," Mr Vjiayan had said on the day of taking over as Chief Minister. "That's why a new team is being formed to investigate the case."

Two sketches, based on descriptions from those who lived in the student's neighbourhood, are vastly different.

The follow up to the barbaric crime was littered with mistakes. Political parties suggested at the time that the police was trying to protect the then government by trying initially to claim that the student had not been raped. For days after the law student's body was found by her mother, the house was not blocked off as a crime scene. Forensic experts were summoned late to collect crucial evidence.

Fingerprints that they believe belong to the suspect have been recovered.

"Investigation is not like magic," said the new police chief, Loknath Behera, who visited the student's home in Perumbavoor on the weekend, describing the killing as a "blind murder" to stress that there are still no big leads.

Activists have argued that the victim's simple background - she lived in a one-room home without a toilet with her mother and sister - has dissuaded the wider anger and attention that the crime should have commanded. The protests that were held before the election have dissipated.

The victim's sister has been given a government job - in ten days, she will get a new home as part of her compensation. But for now, she lives in the hospital room where her mother was moved in trauma after she found her younger daughter's mutilated body.

There is little solace for them to cling onto while they wait for a breakthrough in the case.  And for a family which kept to itself even in happier times, the isolation is more thorough than ever.


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