Friday, May 25, 2007

Indian Police Reopen Nun Murder Investigation

Fifteen years after the 1992 death of Kerala nun Sr Abhaya at her convent, Indian detectives have relaunched investigations after a magistrate ruled that laboratory reports on the case had been tampered with.

IBN Live reports that after five investigations there has been no breakthrough in Sister Abhaya's murder mystery and the trail has gone cold since herbody was found in a well at the St Pius 10th Convent in Kerala's Kottayam in 1992.

In 1996, Indian detectives concluded that the death was a homicide, but the case had to be closed as they did not any leads.

A police officer quit in disgust, claiming his seniors wanted him to call it suicide.

"We could not do anything much as crucial pieces of evidences where destroyed and we had very little to work with. During my investigation I had no doubt that sister Abhaya was murdered. But I had no evidence to prove it at that time as people who wanted to cover it up had the upper hand," says former investigating officer Varghese P Thomas.

But the quest for justice has not completely tapered off.

The Thiruvanathapuram chief Judicial Magistrate has now ruled that the chemical lab examination reports of Sister Abhaya had been tampered with.Indian police have now been asked to press for charges against the lab authorities."

From day one there has been an effort to make this murder into a case of suicide. Let the [police] question the chief forensic examiner now. I am sure it will give u some leads about the murderer," says activist Jomon Puthenpurackal.

A report prepared 15 years at the chemical lab at Thiruvananthapuram ago that could hold the key. The report clearly indicates over-writing in key areas.

India's Central Forensic Science Laboratory has found that the report was tampered with proving beyond doubt that Sister Abhaya was actually raped and murdered, IBN Live says.

But who killed her and what was the motive remains a mystery.


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