Ernakulam, May 3 (IANS) Police on Tuesday questioned two friends of a young poor woman brutally murdered apparently after being raped, a crime that has generated widespread anger in Kerala.
The crime is being compared with the rape-cum-murder of Nirbhaya that shook the Indian capital — and much of the country — in December 2012.
Jisha, 27, was found murdered on April 28 at her home near a canal in Perumbavoor here by her mother, a labourer. Her body was badly mutilated. There were injuries on her private parts, according to police.
Police are waiting for forensic reports to know if the victim was raped and then murdered.
“It is a matter of time before we will be able to reach a conclusion,” said Inspector General of Police Mahipal Yadav, who is heading the probe team.
Yadav told reporters at the scene of the crime that the two people being examined were suspects, not accused.
Additional Director General of Police K. Padmakumar said police believed at this point that the crime was committed by one person.
“We are awaiting the forensic and medical reports. Evidence is being gathered. A lot of people have been questioned,” he said.
The two being questioned now were two of Jisha’s friends at a private hospital near here where she worked.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government wanted the probe to be headed by “a very senior official. Nothing will be left to chance to bring the culprits to justice”.
Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala faced angry Left activists when he reached the hospital where Jisha’s mother is admitted and left in a huff after he could not even get out of the car.
“It’s most unfortunate the opposition is trying to make political capital out of a murder. It’s not fair. I decided to leave the place because I did not want to create a scene,” said Chennithala.
Women activists and the Communist Party of India-Marxist have hit out at the way police have handled the case.
“The police are not allowed to do their job and the government is also not doing anything,” said CPI-M leader Pinarayi Vijayan.
In the state capital, women journalists took out a march demanding that police act with speed.
“The police appears to be soft and silent in the probe. It is five days since the incident took place and nothing seems to be happening,” said lawyer and women’s rights activist Ginakumari.
The students’ wing of CPI-M took out a march to the police station near here demanding quick action.
The victim’s mother moaned: “Our neighbours did not come to our help even after coming to know of the murder. We want the law to come to our aid and arrest those who have done this.”
Jisha’s sister Deepa said the neighbours were trying to evict them from the place. “They did not come to her rescue even when she was brutally assaulted.”
In the state capital, the BJP asked the government to bring the guilty to book at the earliest.
CPI-M leader and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan has said he will visit the home of the victim on Wednesday morning.