Patil, Mani interfered in Abhaya case: Jomon

via Pioneer News Service | Kottayam published on November 19, 2008

Human rights activist and Abhaya Action Council convener Jomon Puthenpurakkal, who had pursued the case through various courts and investigating agencies, on Wednesday alleged that Kerala Congress (M) chairman and former Minister KM Mani had interfered in the case pertaining to Sr Abhaya’s murder several times, but Mani responded saying the allegation was baseless.

“Mani had wanted the case not to come to its conclusion. The intention of Mani’s visits to Delhi at all crucial junctures in the case was suspicious. What Mani told me when we met in Delhi had also increased my doubts,” Jomon told newsmen at a Press meet held after the CBI confirmed the arrest of two priests and a nun in the Sr Abhaya murder case.

Jomon said that Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil had interfered in the final phase of the investigation into the case and this had led the probe into a hard wall. But the measures taken by the CBI were generating hopes, he said. “I am happy that my legal battle for years has not gone waste,” Jomon said.

He demanded stringent action against the police officials who had tried to sabotage the probe and to destroy evidences. He said probe should be held into the actions taken by KT Michael of the State police Crime Branch, who had first investigated the Abhaya case.

“The CBI has now regained its credibility by arresting the two priests and the nun. I am also happy that the truth is coming out at last though (vested interests) crores of rupees have been spent to bury it forever. You can never conceal truth. Also they (the vested interests) can buy anyone but me,” he said.

Terming the the allegation levelled against him by Jomon Puthenpurakkal as baseless, KM Mani said that he had never attempted to do anything illegal. Justice V Ramkumar of the Kerala High Court, who was handling the Abhaya case, had in August last ordered that the rights activist should not get involved in the case anymore. The judge had stirred a hornets’ nest by saying that Jomon was filing pubic interest litigations for fame.

The judge also ordered a thorough enquiry against the action council convener who had worked tireless for the last 16 years to pursue the case. The court asked the Kerala Government to carry out an exclusive probe based on 24 questions the court suggested. These questions included those about his sources of income, his relations with lawyers, his connections with people outside.

Despite sharp protests from several quarters, the Government constituted a special team of officials for the probe against Jomon. Assembly Speaker K Radhakrishnan ordered that Jomon should not enter the MLA Hostel in Thiruvananthapuram. However, the Supreme Court, accepting the appeal filed by him, imposed a stay on all such inquiries.

At the same time, Varghese P Thomas former DySP of the CBI, who resigned from service out of frustration in his inability to proceed with the investigation into the Sr Abhaya murder case, said V Thygarajan, SP of CBI, should be subjected to thorough investigations. He said those who had connived with others in destroying evidences were also guilty of the crime, he pointed out.

Thomas was the first CBI official to investigate the nun’s murder, and he had to resign following pressure to distort the probe when seven years of service was left. He had earlier alleged that Thyagarajan had asked him to report that Abhaya had committed suicide. Thomas also alleged that the Crime Branch, which had concluded that Abhaya had committed suicide, had burned all the evidences they had to avoid handing them over to the CBI.

Meanwhile, the CBI headquarters in Delhi claimed that the investigations into the Abhaya murder would be completed as early as possible as per the instructions given by the Kerala HC. A CBI spokesman at a Press conference in Delhi confirmed the arrest of two priests and a nun in relation to the case.

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