ALAPPUZHA: The families of three schoolgirls who committed suicide in 2008 are stunned by the acquittal of the two accused by the Additional District and Sessions Court, Alappuzha, on Thursday. The girls, Julie Varghese, 17, Anila Babu, 17, and Veni alias Manju alias Vava, 17, students of Ambalappuzha Government VHSS, were found dead in the classroom on November 17, 2008. They had allegedly consumed pesticides.
The Crime Branch arrested two youths, Shanavas, 20, Kambivalappu near Kakkazham, and Soufar, 20, Velimparambu near Kakkazham, on the charge of raping them. But the court set them free for lack of evidence.
The three bereaved fathers, Raju, Babu and Venu of Kanjipadam near Ambalappuzha, feel let down by the justice system.
Raju, father of Julie and an ailing mason, lamented that the long wait for justice to his kid had ended in vain. He doesn’t know what to do next and has no helping hand to go to the higher court to challenge the order. Babu, father of Anila, blamed the public prosecutor for not furnishing the right evidence in the court.
The post-mortem report had revealed that the girls were raped multiple times. The medical tests held at the Vandanam Medical College hospital had proved that the two youths had raped them and the Crime Branch arrested them based on the finding.
Babu, an auto driver, who was a CPM worker, switched to the BJP after he felt that the party was siding with perpetrators soon after the incident. “If they were innocents, who raped our kids? Why should they commit suicide? Where did the Crime Branch evidence go? Will police arrest a person without having solid evidence?” he asked.
“We had no faith in the public prosecutor ever since the case was handed over to him. He did not seek any opinion from us during the course of the trial. If the prosecution had not succumbed to political pressure, we would have got justice done. I will file an appeal in the High Court after getting a copy of the order,” he said.
The investigation team had recovered around 10 suicide notes written by the girls from the classroom and 6 letters from their houses.
Public prosecutor Sankarankutty Kallazhy said that the court had found the girls committed suicide due to the pressure from the teachers. The court did not take the findings of the Crime Branch probe at face value. As many as 87 witnesses and 91 material evidence were produced before the court, he said....