Protests In Kerala Over Acquittal Of 3 Accused In Sexual Assault, Murder Case

Various political parties and non-political outfits took out marches in the state over the acquittal of the three men by a POSCO court at Palakkad.

The Kerala Women's Commission sought action against the officials for their ''lapses'' in the case.

Thiruvananthapuram/Palakkad:

Protests broke out at many places in Kerala on Monday over acquittal of three accused in the case relating to the sexual assault and murder of two minor sisters at Palakkad in 2017.

Various political parties and non-political outfits took out marches in the state over the acquittal of the three men by a POSCO court at Palakkad.

The Opposition Congress disrupted proceedings on the first day of the 16th session of the Kerala assembly, demanding a CBI probe into the matter.

Though Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured the House that the government would seriously consider the matter, the Opposition staged a walkout, dissatisfied with his reply.

The elder girl, 13, was found hanging at her home at Walayar in Palakkad district on January 13, 2017, while her nine-year-old sister was found dead in the same manner on March 4 that year.

The post-mortem report revealed that the sisters were sexually assaulted.

The Yuva Morcha, the BJP's youth wing and Youth Congress took out protest marches to the office of the Superintendent of Police in Palakkad.

The Yuva Morcha activists tried in vain to break the police barricade to enter the SP's office. 

In Thiruvananthapuram, the Mahila morcha and Mahila Congress took out marches to the Secretariat.

"The government is clearly supporting the culprits. Minister A K Balan and the CPI(M) district committee was behind the acquittal of the accused," he told reporters.

The Kerala Women's Commission sought action against the officials for their ''lapses'' in the case.

The mother of the siblings alleged on Monday that police had tried to sabotage the probe.

"We never had any doubts that police were trying to sabotage the case. Now we feel that they have colluded with the culprits. It was unbearable to see the court acquitting the accused. We were not aware that the verdict in the case would be delivered on Friday," she told a private news channel.

The children's father told reporters that he had doubts whether his younger daughter was first killed and then hanged.

"She was a kid. She would not have known how to commit suicide," he said.

The three accused V Madhu, 27, M Madhu, 27 and Shibu, 43 were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Another man Pradeep Kumar had been acquitted by the court earlier for lack of evidence, while a 17-year-old minor boy is the last accused in the case.

The juvenile court will consider his case on November 15.

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