The verdict comes more than 28 years after Sister Abhaya was found murdered inside the well of a convent in Kerala’s Kottayam.
Nearly three decades after Sister Abhaya, a 19-year-old Catholic nun, was murdered, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Tuesday convicted Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sefi in the case.
Her body was found dumped inside the well of a convent in Kerala’s Kottayam on March 27, 1992. The young woman's parents died four years ago.
The case itself saw many twists and turns before it was eventually tried in court.
It was initially thought to be a case of suicide by the CBI. It was later concluded that it was murder. The probe agency had charge-sheeted Catholic priest Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sefi. They were charged with murder, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and other charges in 2008. Another accused, Father Jose Poothrukayil, was let off by the CBI court last year after it found there was no evidence against him.
The CBI counsel told the Kerala High Court that Sister Abhaya, in the early morning hours of March 27, 1992, had stumbled upon the two priests and the nun in a ‘compromising’ position.
Between 4:15 am and 5 am, the accused allegedly hit Sister Abhaya with a blunt object and threw her body in to the well to cover-up the crime.
During the trial, nine witnesses, including Sister Abhaya’s roommate Sister Sherly, turned hostile.
A crucial testimony in the case was that of forensic expert Dr V Kandaswamy who told the CBI special court in Thiruvananthapuram that she died because of the injury inflicted on head and that it was not a case of suicide.
Observing that Sister Abhaya's death did not have signs of suicide, Dr V Kandaswamy said six injuries on the nun's head -- especially the deep wound in the middle part -- was the cause of her death.
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Last Updated Dec 22, 2020, 11:28 AM IST