Nuns Murder – Holy Sex Predators receive Charge Sheet

published on August 17, 2009

Abhaya case: Accused receive chargesheet copies

PNS | Kochi

Knanaya Catholic Church priests Fr Thomas M Kottoor and Fr Jose Puthrukayil and nun Sr Seffi, first, second and third accused respectively in the sensational Sr Abhaya murder case, on Monday received copies of the chargesheet filed by the CBI against them.

The chargesheet copies were provided to the accused at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Ernakulam, where the CBI team probing the case had filed it. The follow-up proceedings in the case would now be taken up on August 24.

All the three accused had arrived at the court with their lawyers even before the court had begun session. The CBI had also listed VV Augustine, a former Kerala police official, as the fourth accused in the case. Augustine was found dead in Chingavanam, Kottayam, a week after the first three accused were arrested.

According to the chargesheet the CBI had filed in the CJM Court on July 17, the probe had revealed that the footwear and veil of nun Abhaya were found scattered in the kitchen and wash area on the Cellar Floor of St Pius X Convent in Kottayam, where she was an inmate.
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Sr Seffi, third accused, was the sole occupant of the Cellar Floor on the night March 26, 1992 and the well, where the dead body of Sr Abhaya was found the next morning, was a stone’s throw away from the room. The CBI claimed that the probe revealed that Fr Kottoor and Fr Puthrukayil were in the habit of making nocturnal visits to the convent hostel and were known to be close to the female accused.

The CBI chargesheet said that on the morning of March 27, 1992, Sr Abhaya had gone down from her first floor room to the kitchen for taking water from the refrigerator when she saw the accused in suspicious circumstances. The two priests were her teachers at BCM College, Kottayam, where she was a pre-degree student. Fearing that Sr Abhaya might speak to others about what she saw, the three accused thought of killing her, the CBI claimed.
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Acording to the CBI, the first three accused struck Sr Abhaya’s head with a blunt object as a result of which, she became unconscious. Not knowing as to how to dispose of the body of the nun, the accused tried to give it a colour of suicide by throwing the body from the fifth floor of the convent.

However, they found it difficult to do that and later threw her in the well, the CBI said, adding the probe revealed that attempts were made to hush up the matter by making it appear as a case of suicide. Augustine, who as Assistant Sub-Inspector had probed the case first, had concluded it as one of suicide and the Crime Branch, which investigated later, also came to the same conclusion.

The CBI alleged that Augustine had failed to take the suspected weapon of offence into his custody, tampered with the vital evidence and did not make a proper inquest and forged the signatures of the witnesses on the inquest report.

The chargesheet also said that the agency wanted to subject KT Michael, former DySP, Crime Branch, Achamma and Thresiamma, servants at the convent, and nun Sr Sherley, who was a room-mate of the murdered nun, to narco-analyses as witnesses.

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