Perumbavur: The family of Jishamol, the dalit girl who was raped and murdered last week at Perumbavur, faced a virtual social boycott in the locality. So much so that none was ready to sign as witnesses when the cops completed the inquest report the day after the crime which occurred on April 28.
Sources said none in the locality used to mingle with the family and they were not even allowed to draw water from the wells in the neighbourhood.
Rayamangalam panchayat welfare standing committee chairman Jyotish Kumar said the mother-daughter duo always kept to themselves. “Her mother Rajeshwari was very possessive after her elder daughter eloped with a lover a decade back. She was not on good terms with any of the neighbours who too ignored her. This is why none came forward to sign the inquest report as witnesses the other day,” he said.
They were living in a shanty built over a two-cent 'purambokku' land on the banks of a local canal. The two-room house didn't even have a toilet facility and they were forced to take bath in a polythene- covered temporary bathroom.
The mother carried water in cans from a public tap located over a km from the makeshift house. The cops also confirmed the social ostracism faced by the family which in a way affected the murder investigation as well.
“We've been taking statements of the local people as part of evidence collection. Our repeated attempts to find an eyewitness or those who had heard any sound on the day she was raped and murdered failed. We suspect a secret understanding among the local residents’ associations not to divulge anything to the police,” the sources said.
Since the victim's house is located near the road and also surrounded by at least five houses, it's unlikely the culprit could flee the spot unnoticed. Later, the cops even sought the help of their own relatives in the locality to convince the local people to speak out. However, the locals were either frightened or not co-operating,” they said.
Though the family got the title deed for a five-cent land at Modakuzhi panchayat, a little away, due to the intervention of the district collector, they found it difficult to raise money to complete the house construction. It's learnt that a brick construction contractor had agreed to provide the raw material on her submitting a letter of guarantee by any local politician. However, sources revealed none of the leaders agreed to do so.
It was after much persuasion that the cops could finally find an eyewitness in the case who said she saw a person coming out of the victim’s house on the fateful day. “We made a sketch on the basis of her statement,” the sources said....