6 years on ; Jihadi Romeo’s responsible for the death of 3 girls roams free

published on November 19, 2014

Alappuzha: It has been 6 years since 3 plus two students decided to put an end to their lives in a class room, all because of the monstrous social menace of love jihad. Justice however eludes them, with the case seeing little progress. The tale of the 3 girls had a tragic end, with Shahnawaz and Saufar, the jihadis turning romeos and professing love. They later captured explicit videos of these girls on mobile phone and used the same to threaten them. The girls, seeing no end to the calamity that befell them decided to put an end to their lives on that fateful day.

The girls were young then and had not even crossed their teens. Students of Vocational Higher Secondary School Anila Babu, Julie Varghese and Veni Venugopal were all in their 17s, when their lives took an ugly turn. Their lifeless bodies were discovered much later, after the trio ended their lives with poison.

The incident led to widespread furore and after a prolonged span of protests, the jihadis were arrested. However, those who pulled the strings behind the scenes still roam around free, in a search for more hapless, unsuspecting victims. Initially, though a case was filed against Shahnawaz and Saufar, many rushed forward to shield them and whisk them away from the court of law. 

This included various affluent persons and religious leaders. Things went to such an extent that even a minister’s office was misused for the purpose.

However, the wrath of citizens knew no bounds, when local police too started playing truant. Local police including DySP of Ambalapuzha continued to insist and stick on to their fabricated report that the girls committed suicide because of desperation in love.

Later, a special investigation team was constituted by the government under DySP of Kollam Crime Branch. Shahnawaz and Shaufar were subsequently arrested. The jihadis soon came out on bail and continue to be so. The inquiry report stated clearly that the boys shot explicit videos on their mobile and threatened the girls with the same. The incidents took place during an On Job Training session the girls underwent, at a hospital. The girls were taken to an isolated building near Alappuzha beach and were raped, which was captured on camera. But the camera phone was destroyed, which dealt a heavy blow on the case. Later Kalleli Sankarankutty was appointed as Special Public Prosecutor of the case. The chargesheet of the case was prepared, but could not be read hitherto, leading to unprecedented delay in further proceedings in the case.

The damp attitude of a usually proactive mainstream media and social media regarding seeking of justice for the victims has led to raised eyebrows. The victims’ parents too continue to grope in dark, with justice eluded even after 6 years.

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