The mother of two minor Dalit girls, who were found dead in their home after being allegedly raped in 2017, on Tuesday announced that she will contest against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan from Dharmadam constituency in the upcoming Assembly elections, the Hindustan Times reported.
The older girl, who was 13 years old, was found hanging at her home in Walayar town in Palakkad district on January 13, 2017. On March 4 that year, her nine-year-old sister was found dead in the same manner. Autopsy reports revealed that the sisters had been sexually assaulted.
The mother of the two minor sisters accused Vijayan of failing to get her justice in the case. “Four years [have] passed since my daughters were killed,” the woman said, according to the Hindustan Times. “I am yet to get justice. The chief minister never kept his words.”
The woman said that her decision to fight the election was a mark of protest against the ruling Left Democratic Front government and Vijayan for allegedly protecting police officers who initially investigated the case, The Indian Express reported. She said flawed investigation by police officers led to acquittal of the accused in the case.
In October 2019, a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act court had acquitted three accused – V Madhu, M Madhu and Shibu – for lack of evidence. Another accused, Pradeep Kumar, was acquitted earlier for the same reason. However, the Kerala government approached the High Court against the decision, following which it ordered a retrial in the case in January this year.
The woman, however, was not convinced with the state government’s actions. Last month, she had also shaved her head to protest against the government for failing to act against police officers who allegedly compromised the investigation.
“To get justice for my daughters, I was forced to sit on the streets and tonsure my head,” she told reporters, according to The Indian Express. “Police officers like Deputy Superintendent of Police Sojan and Sub-Inspector Chacko deserve to be out of service. I want to see them without the police cap on their head.”
Meanwhile, Vijayan’s party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said that the woman was made a “political pawn”, the Hindustan Times reported. “We did whatever is possible in the case,” Kerala law minister AK Balan said. “Now the CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] is investigating it. It seems she was misled by some forces.”