CBI may name six as accused in Nun’s Murder and Rape case including a ‘Father’

published on July 16, 2008

CBI may name six as accused in Abhaya case

Pioneer News Service | Kochi

Indications have come out from the Kochi office of the CBI that the agency could name six persons as accused in the sensational Sr Abhaya murder case. These six persons could include three Government officials who had contributed to the destruction of evidences and for keeping the brutal murder a secret.

It was also indicated that there could be two approvers, one of them being a colleague of the murdered nun, in the case. The investigating team of the CBI thinks that the deposition of these approvers could be crucial in the case which does not have many vital evidences.

According to the investigating team, the local police and the Crime Branch, which had been in charge of the investigation in the initial stages, had either destroyed or neglected the evidences leading to their total loss. The CBI team thinks that the personal diary of Sister Abhaya was destroyed in the leadership of these three persons whom the agency is likely to frame in the case.

The agency is in the process of receiving legal opinion on starting prosecution procedures against these three men who had allegedly committed serious crime while in service.

The CBI team probing the case had at one point wanted to subject one of these persons to narco-analysis but could not do so due to that person’s health complications.

Sources said that the conclusions made by the CBI should be named in the case would be conveyed to the High Court when the agency submitted the record of the narco-analysis conducted on priests Thomas Kottoor and Jose Puthukka and nun Sr Steffi at the Bangalore facility of the CBI.The CBI, which had received flak from several quarters for changing the leader of the team when the probe was about to be concluded now wants to end its mission professionally. As part of this effort, the agency was expected to make out its case in a fool-proof manner.

On July 9, the head of the CBI team probing the case was transferred just when the team was saying that the investigation was in its final stages. RN Krishna, SP, head of the premier investigation body, was replaced by RS Puniya. Krishna was to join the Lucknow offices of the agency from where Puniya was transferred to Kochi to take over Abhaya case investigation. Legal circles and rights groups had expressed suspicion at the move of the agency of bringing back Puniya, a member of the CBI team earlier probed the case.

That team had requested the court permission to wind-up the case as there were no evidences to proceed on.

Sources in the Kochi office said that they expected the report of the team to the court could be strong as it now needed to prove its efficiency and professionalism to the High Court, which had criticised the slow-progress of the investigation. On July 4, the High Court had observed that the conduct of the CBI in the case seemed to have been influenced by external interferences.

Sister Abhaya was found murdered in the well of the St Pius X Convent, where she was a nun, on March 27,1992, in the wee hours of the day. There were no convincing explanations from any quarter on the mysterious death of the nun.

The earlier impression, based on the statements by the other nuns at the convent, was that she could have committed suicide due to some mental disorder. Abhaya, daughter of M Thomas, Areekara, Kottayam, was a second-year pre-degree student at BCM College, Kottayam when she was murdered. The college belonged to the diocese of Kottayam and she was a resident of the St Pius X Convent. Abhaya was said to be a well-cultured, normal behaviour, and was said to have been maintaining healthy and cordial friendship as per hostel rules and with all the inmates and absolutely had no mental disorder or any psychological aberration.

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