All-Kerala CBI team takes over Sister Abhaya murder probe


Kochi : After 12 Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) teams failed to crack the 1992 murder of Sister Abhaya, a nun whose body was found in the well of a convent in Kottayam, a new all-Kerala team from the same bureau took over the probe Tuesday.

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Deputy Superintendent of Police Nandakumaran Nair arrived before Justice R. Basant to take over the investigation.

The Kerala High Court had last month rapped the CBI over the slow progress in its probe and asked the Kerala unit of the CBI to take over.

The judge asked the new team to submit its first information report to the court in 45 days and submit the first full progress report of the investigation before Feb 4 next year.

The judge also said that the team members should not be asked to enquire into any other cases and they are free to approach the court in case they come under duress or pressure from any quarters.

Sister Abhaya, a resident of Pious X Hostel near here, was found dead March 27, 1992. In November 1996, the CBI concluded that the death was a homicide but the murderer remained untraced. The Kerala Police had earlier termed the case a suicide.

The CBI has been saying that evidence in the case has been destroyed during investigations by the state police.

The case ignited public interest again in April last year after a newspaper reported that Abhaya’s medical reports were tampered with at a chemical laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram.