Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran admitted that his party had considered backing the mother of two Walayar girls in her bid to challenge Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by entering the poll fray from the Dharmadom Legislative Assembly constituency in Kannur district. But the party faced opposition from its Kannur units which pitched for a local candidate rather than one from the Palakkad district.
The death of the girls belonging to Walayar in Palakkad district in early 2017 in suspicious circumstances had led to a political furore. The High Court recently ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation after the police botched up the probe, leading to the acquittal of the accused.
"We wanted the cry of a sister, who has not got justice, to be heard across Kerala. But I am saddened that the support could not be extended due to various reasons. The Kannur district committee and the local leaders strongly raised the need for a local candidate in the constituency. Attempts to make them understand were in vain," Mullappally explained.
Last week, the woman had announced she will contest against Pinarayi Vijayan as an independent candidate in the Dharmadom constituency in Kannur district in the upcoming Kerala Assembly polls.
"I want justice for my daughters. I had met the chief minister at Thiruvananthapuram...cried and begged him to ensure that those responsible for the death of my children be brought to book. I will contest against Vijayan as an independent. Except for the Sangh Parivar, we will take the support of everyone," she had told reporters here.
Last month, she had tonsured her head to protest against the failure of the government to initiate action against the police officials who allegedly committed lapses in the probe into the deaths of her two daughters. She shaved her head after staging a month-long satyagraha here since January 26. Besides her, two activists also tonsured their heads, expressing solidarity with the victims' mother.
The case so far
The bodies of the two children were found on January 13 and March 4, 2017. The Kerala High Court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the cases. It is suspected the girls were sexually abused and killed by their exploiters, likely a few in the vicinity of their home.
Allowing appeals filed by the state government and the mother of the children, the court had, on January 6, ordered the re-trial by observing that there were serious lapses in the investigation and that there has been a miscarriage of justice.
A Division Bench of Justices A Hariprasad and M R Anitha had set aside on October 2019 an order of a POCSO Court acquitting the five accused in the case for want of evidence.
Public outcry and protests had erupted in the state after the acquittal of the accused, seeking justice for the family of the girls.
The state government had, on November 18, 2019, removed the Public Prosecutor who handled the case and later filed the appeal in the High Court.