Public prosecutor in Walayar sisters death case removed: KerCM

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 18 (PTI) Days after acquittalof the accused in the Walayar sisters death case triggered acontroversy, the Kerala government on Monday announced thePublic Prosecutor who handled it has been removed and said aprobe is on to identify lapses in the police enquiry, if any.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced this in thestate assembly in response to allegations by the Oppositionthat the police and the prosecution failed in providingjustice to the victims.

He said the state government will go in for an appealagainst the POCSO court order.

'The government is looking into the allegations thatthere were lapses in the police inquiry and the prosecution.

The special public prosecutor has been removed from the post.

State will appeal against the acquittal,' Vijayan told theHouse.

Public outcry and protests erupted in Kerala seekingjustice to the family of the Dalit sisters aged 11 and nineafter a special POCSO (Protection of Children from SexualOffences) court in Palakkad acquitted the accused on October25.

Replying to question by member M Vincent, the chiefminister told the Assembly the special public prosecutor LathaJayaraj has been dismissed.

The mother of two minor girls, who were found dead inWalayar, had approached the Kerala High Court, on November 12,seeking to quash the order of Palakkad special court (POCSOAct) acquitting all the accused in the case.

The elder child, aged 13, was found dead on January13, 2017, and the younger child, aged nine, died 52 dayslater.

There were five accused in the case and separatecharge sheets were filed against each accused. However, theywere acquitted.

'The state will support the parents' demand for CBIprobe,' Vijayan said.

He also dismissed the Opposition allegation his partyhad interfered in the case and said such tendencies are notencouraged by the Left party.

The girls' mother in her plea to the high court hadsaid the court acquitted the accused persons who were charge-sheeted for rape and abetment of suicide, disbelievingeyewitness accounts.

The trial court dealt with the case in a most casualmanner and it failed to take an active role in the trialprocess to ensure that a fair trial was conducted, the womancontended in her plea.

The National Commission for Scheduled Castes had lastweek said it will seek clarifications from the doctors whoperformed the post-mortem on two minor Dalit girls, who wereraped and later found dead under 'suspicious circumstances'.

The acquittal of the accused in the case by the POCSOcourt had led to a lot of anger and protests by politicalparties and NGOs as they alleged the 'Kerala policedeliberately did a bad investigation to help the accused comeout of the case.' Originally, the NCSC issued summons to the Keralachief secretary and director general of police for theirappearance before it today.

The girls belonged to Shelvapuram in Attapallam nearWalayar. They were found hanging in January and March of 2017,respectively. Post-mortem reports suggested they were sexuallyassaulted.

Police had arrested four people, one of whom wasacquitted in September this year, and the three others onOctober 25.

The accused were charged with abetment of suicide andrape.

The POCSO court in Palakkad, while acquitting theaccused, pulled up the investigation team, saying it did notpresent enough scientific evidence in the case. PTI RRTSS SS