The Kerala Police on Wednesday released a sketch of the main suspect in the case of a brutal rape and murder of a Dalit woman near Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district. Police claim that investigation into the case is on the "right track", but no arrests have been made so far. However, three people have been detained for questioning, according to reports.
While the 29-year-old law student was found dead near her house last Thursday, police cordoned off her house and declared it a crime scene only on Tuesday. Her body was found without her churidar bottom, lying near a canal. She had been suffocated to death using a shawl-like cloth, police said, adding that they believe more than one person was involved in the crime. The woman's mother alleged that the victim had complained to the police for a year about being harassed, but was ignored.
The autopsy report suggested that the victim was tortured with a sharp instrument that pierced her uterus and intestines. The final report confirmed the strong suspicion that an attempt to rape was also made. Her body bore more than 30 wounds, including a 13-cm deep gash around her chest that ran till her liver. The perpetrators mangled her body with brute force, the police said. At least five of the 30 injuries, one each on her head, the back of her neck, chest and stomach, were major.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy met the mother and assured her that the culprits would be brought to justice at the earliest. Chandy announced that the state government had decided to give a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victim's family.
Several members of the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday demanded “exemplary punishment” for the culprits, reported PTI. The National Commission for Women has taken suo moto cognisance of the case and has set up an inquiry team to look into it. The National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the state government over the law student's murder.