Palakkad: A court on Friday acquitted the three accused in the death of two minor sisters, who were sexually abused, at Walayar in Kerala's Palakkad district in 2017.
While acquitting accused V Madhu, M Madhu and Shibu, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court observed that the prosecution failed to prove the case.
Both girls were found hanging from the same spot of their dilapidated house at Shelvapuram in the district in two separate instances within two months.
‘Did not even know the verdict was today’
Reacting to the acquittal, the children's mother said that she never thought the accused would be let off.
"The police have erred. I had recounted everything in court. Never thought that the accused would be let off. I did not even know that the verdict would be pronounced today," she said.
Her 13-year-old elder daughter was found dead on January 13, 2017, while the nine-year-old girl was found hanging at the house on March 4. The police probe had found that both the girls were sexually abused.
The dead bodies were found at a height of 8 feet from the ground and questions were raised as to how a nine-year-old girl could kill herself from a such height.
However, the police pointed out that a cot was placed right beneath the spot and the ropes were not properly tied. The cops contented that if it had been a murder, the rope would not have been tied in such a sluggish manner.
The police surgeon, who had examined the spot after the nine-year-old girl's death, had also termed it as a case of suicide.
The police had arrested five people, including the children's relatives M Madhu and V Madhu and their father's friend Shibu. The accused were slapped with charges of POCSO and the Prevention of the Atrocities towards Scheduled Caste/Tribe Act and abetment of suicide.
A 17-year-old neighbour was among the five arrested. However, the teenager, who was let off by the cops after questioning, was later found dead. Another accused Pradeep Kumar, a neighbour, was let off last week.
After lapses were found in the first phase of investigation, department-level action was taken against Walayar SI, CI and DySP, who had conducted the preliminary investigation. Later, ASP G Poonkuzhali and M J Sojan led the investigation.