The suspected rape and murder of a 30-year-old Dalit woman triggered outrage in Kerala even as the state police remained clueless about the culprit.
Protest marches were held in Thiruvananthapuram and several others parts of the state Tuesday, five days after the woman, who had completed her law degree, was found dead in her one-room house at Rayamangalam village in Ernakulam district. A social media campaign also started amid allegations of police inaction in the case.
While claiming that the case was not similar to the Delhi gangrape case, Ernakulam Range IG Mahipal Yadav, however, admitted that the inquest report showed that the victim had sustained 13 injuries from a sharp object and her intestine had come out. He added that while the police were yet to get the post-mortem and forensic reports, a rape case had also been registered considering the brutal nature of the injuries.
The IG said the police suspected involvement of only one person in the crime. A few persons have also been detained by the police in the ongoing investigation. Local people had reported seeing a person coming out of the victim’s house Thursday evening, the IG said.
With the case suddenly taking the focus away from the campaigning for the Assembly elections, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala denied that there was any delay in taking action. He said that on Thursday night, when the body was found, the district superintendent of police had visited the spot, adding that the probe was being monitored by senior police officers and was on the “right track”.
The victim lived in a single-room house along with her mother. Despite her law degree, she had undertaken a clerical job at a hospital in Perumbavoor town. On Thursday, the woman’s mother, who works as a domestic help, was reportedly out for work at the time of the incident. The victim’s father had abandoned the family several years ago.
Meanwhile, the Kerala State Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes and the Kerala Human Rights Commission have taken cognizance of the case and sought reports from the police.