In protest against the delay in resolving the mysterious death of 18-year-old Kerala student Mishel Shaji Varghese, the action council in her hometown Piravom in Kerala, has called for a hartal on Tuesday, March 14.
On Monday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan handed over the investigation to the crime branch after Piravom MLA Anoop Jacob raised the issue during the Legislative Assembly on Monday. The investigation team, led by ADGP Nithin Aggarwal, has taken charge on Tuesday.
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Shaji says he doesn't know the youth arrested by Kerala police
The Kochi police had arrested 26-year-old Piravam native Cronin Alexander Baby in connection with Mishel's death case. Though reports claim Cronin to be a distant relative of the girl, Mishel's father Shaji has declined it by saying they have no idea who he is. "I don't know him, and she hasn't told anything about Cronin to us," he father told reporters.
Meanwhile, the investigators insist that Cronin was in a relationship with Mishel, and the troubles in their alleged relationship led her to take the extreme step. They have also found that the youth had sent 57 messages to Mishel's number and called her four times on the day before she went missing, and 32 messages and six calls on Sunday. Reports also suggest that according to Cronin's statement, Mishel had told him that she had taken some decisions on their relationship.
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What happened to Mishel?
Mishel, who hails from Piravom, was residing in a hostel at Kacheripady in Kochi, as she was preparing for chartered accountancy examinations. The CCTV footage at St Antony's Church in Kaloor shows the 18-year-old leaving the shrine and that was where she was last spotted alive. Her parents had informed the Central Police Station on Sunday about her disappearance, but she was found dead near Kochi Wharf the next day.
Even though the investigators assume that she killed herself as there weren't any suspicious marks or wounds on her body, Mishel's family members have refused to buy their claim and added that she was a strong girl. Her father told reporters that when she called them on Sunday morning and evening, Mishel didn't sound depressed or sad.