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28 Years After Murder of Kerala's Sister Abhaya, CBI Court Verdict Expected Today

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The accused had struck a fatal blow to sister Abhaya's head with a blunt object when she entered the kitchen of the convent and saw the accused in a compromising position. She was thrown into the well of the convent to make it look like a suicide.

The verdict in the sister Abhaya murder case, which had shaken the conscience of Kerala, is expected on Tuesday after almost 28 years.

A CBI court is expected to pronounce the verdict. Twenty-one-year-old sister Abhaya was found dead in the well of Pius X convent in Kottayam on March 27, 1992. The first accused priest, father Thomas Kottoor, and third accused sister Sephy faced trial.

The second accused, father Jose Poothrikkayil, was discharged in March 2018 by CBI court following his plea.

The accused had struck a fatal blow to sister Abhaya's head with a blunt object when she entered the kitchen of the convent and saw the accused in a compromising position. She was thrown into the well of the convent to make it look like a suicide.

The CBI charges against the accused are for IPC 302 (murder) and IPC 201 (destroying evidence). Nine witnesses had turned hostile, many were inmates of the nun who had earlier given statement that they saw the kitchen was disturbed. A total of 49 witnesses were examined.

The accused Catholic priests and nun were even subjected to narco analysis test. The CBI filed charge sheet on July 17, 2009 mainly on the basis of scientific evidences like Narco Analysis test.

Earlier, local police and crime branch probe had stated it was death by suicide. The case was transferred to CBI in 1993, followed by protests by action council and petition by human rights activist Jomon Puthenpurackal.

The court had earlier rejected three reports of CBI and wanted more probe into the suspicious circumstances.

first published:December 22, 2020, 00:29 IST
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