Fresh CBI probe into Kerala nun’s death raises hopes


Thiruvananthapuram : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday announced a new team to probe the mystery death of a nun, Sister Abhaya, in 1992.

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"We are certain the truth will come out some day and we are hoping this new team will unravel the mystery and book all those who are guilty," said M. Thomas, Abhaya's aged father.

He added that the CBI team should work in a manner as though they were probing their own child's death.

Sister Abhaya, an inmate of Pious X hostel near Kottayam was found dead in the well of the convent. Though the CBI has been investigating the case since 1993, they are yet to come out with any conclusive evidence. The agency concluded in November 1996 that the death was a homicide but the murderer remained untraced.

The state police had dismissed the case as suicide in 1992.

The new seven-member CBI team has been appointed after Joe Mon Puthenpurackal, a social activist who formed the Abhaya Action Committee in 1992, met the CBI director in May and demanded a fresh probe.

"The time has come for the CBI to prove that they are the premier agency in the country by solving the mystery of Abhaya's death," Puthenpurackal told reporters here.

The 15-year-old case came back into the limelight in April after a newspaper reported that Abhaya's medical reports had been tampered with at the Chemical Examiners Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram.

According to the report, the results of the vaginal swab were positive for semen and spermatozoa but were corrected using a whitener and rewritten as negative.

Last month, the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate had ordered that two women officials of the Chemical Examiners Laboratory be arrested – after a forensic report confirmed that tampering of records took place at the laboratory.

Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate P.D. Sharangdharan had earlier this month expressed surprise over the CBI having no clue in the case even after 15 years.

He was also shocked that Sister Abhaya's post mortem work register had gone missing from the Kottayam Medical College last month and ordered an enquiry into the matter.