Reinvestigation in Walayar case a slap on govt. face: Chennithala

BJP demands CBI inquiry, Balan claims victory for govt.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Wednesday said the High Court had excoriated the State police for its botched investigation that resulted in the acquittal of three persons responsible for the sexual exploitation and subsequent suicide of two minor Dalit girls, both sisters, at Walayar in Palakkad in 2017.

It had rectified the wrong by ordering a reinvestigation in the case. The High Court had cancelled the acquittal of the three suspects in the crime.

The State police had come under withering criticism from across the political spectrum after a special court for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) set the accused free for want of evidence and prosecution failure.

The case acquired a political dimension with the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stating that the local police had developed cold feet because the accused were local functionaries of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)].

Mr. Chennithala had pointed out that the lawyer who defended the accused in the case was also a local CPI(M) man who officiated as the chairperson of the District Child Welfare Committee. He said the entire case smacked of conspiracy and conflict of interest.

The “wilful indifference” on the part of the police to the impoverished Dalit family’s plight had driven the girls’ parents to the street to seek justice for their wards. The parents had launched an indefinite protest in front of the Secretariat for a reinvestigation. They later moved the High Court.

Law Minister A.K. Balan said the High Court order was a victory for the government. It had filed an urgent memorandum in the High Court to overturn the verdict and order a reinvestigation. The court had stayed the suspects’ release on the merit of the government’s plea. Moreover, the government had ordered a judicial commission to fix accountability for the sham prosecution.

BJP State general secretary P. Sudhir said the High Court decision was a slap on the face of Mr. Balan. He alleged that Mr. Balan and M.B. Rajesh, former MP, had derailed the case for political reasons. Mr. Sudhir demanded a CBI inquiry into the case.

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