8 years on, Kerala HC orders CBI probe into girl's death

Shreya Benny, 12, from Alappuzha, was found dead on December 17, 2010, in a pond at a Church-run institution that was hosting a personality development camp.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has asked the CBI to probe the death of a 12-year-old schoolgirl under suspicious circumstances in Alappuzha district eight years ago.

Following a complainant by the girl's father that the police and crime branch failed to get to the bottom of the case, Justice Sunil Thomas on Wednesday ordered a thorough investigation to unravel the mystery behind the death.

Shreya Benny of Kalarcode in Alappuzha district was found dead on December 17, 2010, in a pond on the premises of a church-run institution that was hosting a personality development camp. The girl, daughter of Ezharaparayil Benny of Kaithavana, was attending the three-day event at Kripa Bhavan in Cherthala.

Earlier, two investigations had focused on a few suspects, including the organisers of the Kripa Bhavan event. The phone calls they made were examined. Investigation was also carried out on those who reached the pond on hearing the news and those who spread the theory that Shreya had died after falling into the pond while sleepwalking.

According to an attendee of the camp, Shreya had woken up past midnight and the other participant had asked her what she was up to but got no reply.

Shreya had gone to sleep that night along with 11 other girls and a nun, who was in charge of the group.

The girl who saw Shreya last told the cops that she had slept near the door and was seen combing her hair around 12.45 am. Shreya looked mentally disturbed in the last two days of her life, the girl's statement added.

The post-mortem report said Shreya died of drowning, but it is still unclear how she reached the spot.

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