A court in Kerala on Thursday acquitted a man accused of raping and killing a six-year-old girl, who was his neighbour, at Churukkulam estate in this high range district two years ago.
The Fast Track Special Court acquitted the accused — Arjun — due to lack of conclusive evidence against him, a lawyer associated with the case said.
After the accused was acquitted, the angry family members were seen on TV channels hurling abuses at him and also expressing their dissatisfaction with the verdict.
The visuals also showed the police quickly removing him from the court complex apprehending an attack from the victim’s family
The defence lawyer alleged that the accused was framed in the case by the police by fabricating evidence against him.
After the verdict, the defence lawyer told media that “we have demanded a re-investigation of the case to find out the actual culprit”.
The state police in a statement said it would be filing an appeal against the court’s verdict.
Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF opposition said the police and the prosecution failed to ensure the conviction of the accused.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly V D Satheesan said the verdict has shocked the conscience of the state.
Satheesan contended that the failure of the police and the prosecution in the case was clear as day and therefore, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should respond to this.
The court verdict in the case indicates that the government was not serious about child safety issues, he said and added that merely going in appeal was not a solution.
Satheesan further said that the rape and murder of the child was confirmed in the post-mortem and the accused had confessed to the crime.
He also said that it was “mysterious” that the police ignored the request of the girl’s family to book the accused under relevant provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Therefore, there needs to be an investigation as to whether there was any external interference which led to police and prosecution failing to establish the guilt of the accused, the LoP contended.
Satheesan also alleged that the public suspects that the accused’s DYFI connection maybe the reason for destruction of evidence in the case.
The girl was found hanging inside her house on June 30, 2021 when her parents went out for work in a nearby plantation.
Police had initially registered a case of unnatural death but the autopsy report confirmed that the child was raped before she was hanged.
It seems like he had raped her many times in the past. However, on June 30, the child fell unconscious during his rape attempt and thinking that she was dead, he hanged her, police had said.